From 2015 to 2017, more and more of the fatal crashes that occur involve large trucks. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has noted that the number of large truck occupant fatalities went up each year during that period as well. In particular, fatal work zone crashes involving one or more large trucks saw an increase in percentage for each of the three years. This trend affects New York and the rest of the nation.

The FMCSA presented this and other data at the 2019 Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. However, it did not put the blame for the upward trend on truckers themselves. Most accidents, after all, have multiple factors. However, the data makes it clear that truckers can do a lot to improve road safety for everyone.

In work zones, for example, truckers can signal their turn far ahead of time to show their intention to merge into the open lane. They can put on their flashers to warn drivers that they are approaching slowed or stopped traffic.

Preventing distracted driving is even more important. Truckers are recommended to adjust their seat, mirrors and radio before driving. Holding a phone to make a call is against federal law. However, if their company allows hands-free phone use, truckers should ensure that the phone will not slide or fall.

Distractions, fatigue and intoxication are just a few things that can make someone negligent behind the wheel. Those who survive a truck crash and who believe that the trucker was at fault (or was at least more to blame than they) may have grounds for a personal injury claim. It might be a good idea to have a lawyer evaluate the case. Once the courts determine the degree of fault, the lawyer may head to the negotiation table for a settlement.