Wisconsin residents might be interested to know more about big truck crashes as data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates that fatalities from large truck accidents are at the highest rate in 29 years. While the overall fatality rate for traffic accidents has declined, the rate has increased for big truck crashes.

The latest NHTSA data is from 2017 and shows that 37,133 people died due to motor vehicle accidents. This was a 2% decline from 2016 while fatalities from crashes involving large trucks rose to 4,761, a 9% increase from 2016. In 72% of these truck accidents, the deaths were people in vehicles other than large trucks. When those in the trucks were killed, around 40% were not wearing seat belts.

Trucks that weigh between 10,000 and 14,000 pounds saw the highest increase in fatality rates. With trucks larger than 26,000 pounds, the fatality rate rose by 5.8%. A representative for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which sets rules for trucks weighing more than 26,000 pounds, said there is greater potential for accidents because there are more freight vehicles on roads than before.

When tackling the issues that lead to motor vehicle accident fatalities, distracted driving is a cause for concern. Technological advances may help combat distracted driving in truckers. Some safety features include cameras that capture footage behind trucks, automatic emergency braking and lane departure warnings.

Due to the size of big rigs and other commercial vehicles, the potential exists for serious injuries to occur in a large truck accident. When suffering severe or long-term injuries, victims may wish to file a suit in civil court for damages relating to an accident. This may help with medical expenses and other costs relating to the accident. A truck driver or truck company might share liability for an accident.