With all the attention that the near-record drop in traffic accident fatalities in 2010 has received, one small fact has escaped notice. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, while there was a drop in most types of traffic accident fatalities in 2010, the same was not so for trucking accidents. There was actually an increase of 8.7% in trucking accident-related deaths in 2010.
This increase comes after two years of declining truck accident-related fatalities. The trucking industry has already responded to the NHTSA statistics. The American Trucking Associations speaking for the trucking industry is calling the increase ‘concerning.’ Oddly enough, the group continues to call 2010 one of the safest years for the trucking industry on record.
The trucking industry has continued to tout its safety record over the past couple of years, solidly opposing any kind of trucking safety legislation, including the Hours of Service review that is currently underway. The industry has strongly resisted any moves to reduce the number of hours that a trucker can drive from the current 11 to 10. As part of its argument, the industry has used the declining number of fatalities in truck accidents over the past couple of years. That argument no longer stands, as statistics from 2010 show.
Accident fatalities are on the rise again, and San Fernando Valley truck accident attorneys are not really surprised. After all, the decline of the past couple of years has had a lot to do with a number of other factors, like the overall decline in motoring traffic as a result of the recession, as well as the decline in trucking activity. Now that motorists are driving more and commercial trucking has also picked up, we are likely to see more fatal accidents involving commercial trucks.