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New large truck crash study could be forthcoming

In 2018, there were 4,415 fatal crashes involving large trucks, which was a 52.6% increase since 2009. It also represented a 5.7% increase since 2016, and the latest data has prompted the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to conduct a study. In 2003, the FMCSA conducted a similar study in which it analyzed 120,000 crashes involving commercial vehicles. However, the the agency says that changes in technology, road design and driver habits have influenced driver performance since the last study was conducted.

For example, people are more likely to use cellphones while driving, and they also have greater access to advanced safety tools such as automatic braking systems. Advances in navigation systems have also likely changed how individuals drive their trucks. In addition to studying fatal crashes, the FMCSA also wants to collect more data about crashes that cause bodily injury or property damage.

The information that it collects will likely inform new policy directives aimed at reducing the number of large truck crashes. It will also play a role in determining what types of improvements are made in automated systems as they are deployed. The FMCSA has asked for public input as it goes about creating the parameters for the new study. Public comments could determine the type of sampling method used and the sources of information it uses to put the study data into context.

Occupants of other vehicles who are injured in a big rig crash often require lengthy periods of expensive medical care and treatment. They might find it advisable to have a lawyer's help when they are seeking compensation for their medical bills and other losses.

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