Fatal crashes involving commercial and passenger vehicles continue to rise. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has just examined crash data for 2017, the latest year for which complete data is available, and found that there was a total of 5,005 commercial motor vehicle crash fatalities. This is up from 3,193 in 2009. Another interesting fact is that Georgia saw a 19.7 percent rise in fatal CMV crashes.

Other states that saw a jump in fatal CMV crashes were Florida (27 percent), California (18.6 percent) and Texas (12 percent). On the other hand, New York saw a decrease of 12.2 percent. Those states with the highest jumps could apply for FMCSA High Priority grants in their efforts to address this trend.

The FMCSA estimates that half of all fatal crashes involving CMVs involved occupants who were not wearing seat belts. Specifically, 322 of the 841 truck drivers who were killed in 2017 neglected to buckle up. Taking the seat belt compliance rate and applying it to the 17 percent of accidents that had no cause attributed to them, experts arrived at the rate of 50 percent.

Drivers must be educated on the benefits of seat belts, according to experts at the FMCSA. They also call for an increased enforcement of seat belt policies. However, it’s worth noting that speeding also played a major role in the fatality increase of 2017.

A passenger vehicle occupant injured in a trucking accident may want to know if they are eligible for compensation. This is where a lawyer comes in. After having third parties gather important documents, including the police report, work log and maintenance records, the lawyer could present the case and negotiate for a settlement.