Driving is dangerous, but there are certain issues and vehicles that are more dangerous than others. To keep people safe on the road, the federal government tracks statistics about all kinds of traffic accidents and collisions. The information they gather allows for careful consideration before creating new policies. It can also help drivers make better safety decisions based on statistical danger.
In recent years, the total number of deaths related to commercial vehicles such as big rig trucks has increased at a surprisingly rapid rate. Since 2009, the total number of fatal crashes has gone up by a shocking 42%. In 2017, the most recent year with federally-analyzed statistics available, there were 4,889 fatal crashes involving large commercial trucks. In the same year, there were 116,000 commercial vehicle crashes that resulted in injury. That figure has also increased in recent years.
While the total number of fatalities is down from this century’s high point of 5,231 in 2005, the annual increase in injuries and fatalities helps make it clear that the overall number of collisions between large trucks and passenger vehicles is on the rise.
A better economy means more commercial and passenger traffic
When the economy isn’t doing very well and personal spending is low, the demand for the transportation of goods and products dips. Not only will there be fewer items going to stores, but fewer factories will be demanding raw materials to make products. When the economy is strong and consumer spending is steady, transportation demands also increase.
More people are on the road headed to work or shopping. There will also be more commercial vehicles helping to support the stronger economy. In fact, in recent years, there has been a borderline shortage of commercial trucking professionals available when compared to the volume of commercial shipping required by domestic companies.
Unfortunately, that has meant that some companies have become more flexible with their requirements, potentially loosening their expectations and hiring those who would have previously not received a job. In other words, drivers with less skill and experience are on the road because of increasing demand.
The smaller vehicle is the one in danger in a commercial crash
There is no question that large commercial vehicles are dangerous on the road. They weigh several times what a passenger vehicle may weigh, and their large size also makes it much harder for them to maneuver quickly when traffic conditions change. Commercial trucks can roll right over smaller passenger vehicles, completely crushing the vehicle and the people inside as well.
Even in a more minor accident, the people in the passenger vehicle could potentially suffer catastrophic injuries due to the damage that commercial vehicles can cause to smaller passenger vehicles. Given that the rate of these crashes is on the rise, it is more important than ever to do your best to stay safe on the Louisiana highways.