Federal Government Reports Highest Spike in 2021 Truck Accident Deaths

According to the most recent report released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 43,000 people were killed in traffic accidents last year, the highest number in more than 15 years. Our Virginia personal injury law firm was very troubled to learn that this is the largest increase since the federal government began collecting fatality data almost 50 years ago.

Other disturbing findings cited in the NHTSA report included:

  • The number of fatal multi-vehicle accidents increased by 16 percent
  • Driving at night is at least 10 percent more dangerous than driving during the day.
  • Speeding continues to be a dangerous factor – increasing another 5 percent from 2020.
  • Fatal crashes caused by drunk driving also increased by 5 percent.
  • Certain types of roads are more dangerous than others. Rural interstates had a 15 percent increase in vehicle accident deaths and urban collector/local roads were up by 20 percent.

Number of Truck Accident Deaths

And while everyone on the road is at risk of serious or deadly injuries from a vehicle accident, the statistics for truck accident deaths are even more jarring – a 52 percent increase since 2010. According to the statement released by the Truck Safety Coalition, this is the biggest increase ever.

According to the NHTSA report, there were 5,610 people killed in trucking accidents last year. And despite the fact that passenger vehicle safety has improved over the years, 97 percent of those killed were passenger vehicle occupants.

Different Types of Truck Accidents

It is not surprising that – given the massive size and weight of commercial trucks – that the destruction that occurs in a crash is often significant. The following are some of the most common types of catastrophic truck accidents that our Virginia personal injury attorneys have successfully handled:

  • Jackknife: When the trailer of the truck skids outward, creating a 90-degree angle against the front of the vehicle’s cab, in the shape of a jackknife.
  • Rollover: When a truck driver loses control, the vehicle can slide and roll over onto its side, often landing on other vehicles or pedestrians. In these cases, it is especially important to hire a truck accident lawyer from Reston, VA.
  • Tire blowout: Any tire blowout is dangerous, but when a vehicle this size has a blowout, it can be deadly.
  • Blind spots: Commercial trucks have multiple blind spots which prevent the truck driver from seeing other vehicles when turning or changing lanes.
  • Swinging turn or wide turn: Truck drivers sometimes swing too far left when they are making a right-hand turn, which can cause them to smash into other vehicles.
  • Rear-end: It takes a truck more stopping distance than other types of vehicles when braking. When a truck driver fails to stop in time and rear-ends another vehicle, the result is often fatal to the occupants in the vehicle they slam into.
  • Underride: If a truck stops suddenly, the vehicle behind them can become stuck under the truck’s trailer if that driver is not able to stop in time. These crashes are almost always fatal.

Call Our Virginia Accident Firm Today

At Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp, our Virginia truck accident attorneys have been representing truck accident victims and their families for more than three decades. We understand the devastating impact these accidents have. When a person does survive a truck accident, they often struggle with catastrophic injuries, leaving them permanently disabled, unable to work, and needing medical care for the rest of their lives. A truck accident settlement can ensure that the victim has the funds to deal with all of their past and future expenses.

When the injuries are so severe that the victim dies, their family is left not only with the emotional loss, but there can also be an overwhelming financial loss, as well. Our law firm understands that no amount of money will ever make up for the loss of your loved one, but we also understand that filing a wrongful death lawsuit against those responsible is often the only justice available to families.

Call our office today to schedule a free consultation and find out what legal recourse you may have. For more information about truck accidents in Virginia, please download our free guide.