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Are more fatalities attributed to large trucks and buses?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has released its preliminary report on the collision statistics for buses and large trucks in 2015. As additional data is made available, their publication will be updated accordingly.

Most of the data the government has on fatal accidents is only available from 1975. Statistics involving the presence of alcohol in these crashes only began to be tracked in the early 1980s. Collisions that did not cause any deaths have been tracked since 1995.

There were 4,311 buses and large trucks that were involved in accidents with at least one fatality in 2015. This figure indicates a rise of 8 percent since the prior year. The incidents of fatalities involving these big rigs and buses have risen a total of 26 percent since 2009, when the fatality rate dipped the lowest at 3,432.

Yet the figures from 2015, the most recent year that crash statistics are available, remain 18 percent lower than the peak year of 2005, when 5,231 individuals died in accidents with large commercial trucks or buses.

In the four-year span between 2005-2009, the number of fatal collisions with buses and big trucks decreased by 34 percent. Then it shot back up 20 percent over the next seven years.

What do these statistics actually represent regarding highway safety? Clearly, large commercial trucks and buses pose at least some enhanced risk to motorists in passenger vehicles due to the size and weight disparity. The fact that it takes these larger, heavier vehicles much longer to stop in emergencies also comes into play.

But sometimes the accidents are caused by a commercial driver's flouting of the Hours of Service regulations or some other kind of negligent action or omission. If you are injured by an at-fault big rig trucker or bus driver, you may be able to recover compensation for your damages and injuries.

Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, "Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts 2015," accessed Feb. 10, 2017

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