Statewide, the number of deaths in large truck accidents has risen every year between 2009 and 2013 with 126 such fatalities in 2013.
Fatality statistics published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration should give Tennessee residents reason to be concerned. Every single year from 2010 to 2013, the number of people who died in accidents involving large trucks in Tennessee increased.
In 2010, 92 people died in such collisions. This was the same number as in the preceding year. In 2011 and 2012, the death toll rose to 108 and 112, respectively. Then, in 2013, the state experienced 126 large truck fatalities.
The view in and around Knox County
In looking at the number of truck accident deaths in Knox County and its surrounding counties, residents can see what areas face the greatest risks. The data shows the following for the years 2009 to 2013:
- In Knox County, a total of 20 truck fatalities were recorded.
- In Jefferson County, a total of 17 truck fatalities were recorded.
- In Roane County, a total of 12 truck fatalities were recorded.
- In Anderson, Grainger and Blount Counties, a total of six truck fatalities each were recorded.
- In Loudon County, a total of five truck fatalities were recorded.
- In Sevier County, a total of four truck fatalities were recorded.
Union County was the only county bordering Knox County that did not experience any deaths in large truck collisions in this five-year span.
Accident risk factors
Truck driver fatigue and impaired driving are two factors that can cause truck accidents to happen. Both of these are issues that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association has been attempting to address recently.
In 2013, the FMCSA instituted new rules for truck driver breaks. The intention of the change was to reduce the amount of fatigue that drivers experienced, thereby improving safety for truckers and others on the roads. Supply Chain Digest notes that some industry groups opposed the new rule and Congress since ordered a stay until further research could be conducted. That research has been done and JOC.com reports that a full report is in the works.
Regarding truck drivers operating vehicles while impaired, the Commercial Carrier Journal explains that the FMCSA will soon be launching a new process and database designed to crack down on such practices. The database will house records about all drivers with commercial licenses from drug and alcohol test results to violations and more. A thorough pre-hire screening process will include a review of such records as well as the passing of all substance testing.
Other ways to get help
Any collision involving a commercial vehicle can be scary and serious, especially due to the size and weight of these trucks. Victims should always talk to an attorney when these crashes happen to learn how to seek appropriate compensation.