For many Colorado truck drivers, driving a large vehicle with an equally massive load of cargo are reasons enough to be extra cautious. However, there are still some drivers who take these facts lightly, which, unfortunately, result in numerous truck accidents. And, according to the latest statistics from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association, truck accidents have become a growing and disturbing trend, not just for Colorado residents, but for everyone else in the nation as well.
Although the statistics from 2002 to 2012 showed a 17 percent decrease in fatal truck accidents, the latest figures are not so encouraging. Based on the FMCSA statistics, more than 3,800 fatal truck crashes occurred in 2012, which is a five percent increase from the 3,633 of the previous year. Even more disturbing is the fact that intoxication seems to be a factor in such crashes. In 2012, 3.5 percent of drivers involved in a fatal truck accident had alcohol in their blood stream and over 2 percent had a BAC of 0.08 percent or more.
While the number of deaths declined, the number of injuries continues to rise. In 2012, the FMCSA noted that trucks were involved in 77,000 injury-related accidents, which is a 22 percent increase from the 63,000 cases in 2011. The percentage of property damage that was caused by truck accidents also increased in 2012, by a whopping 14 percent. Most of the truck crashes, 63 percent, occurred on Interstate highways in both urban and rural areas. Almost 90 percent of truck accidents occurred between Mondays and Fridays, while 83 percent of fatal crashes occurred on weekdays.
With this growing concern about truck accidents, a Colorado truck owner or truck company should make sure that their drivers are sufficiently trained and that their trucks are well-maintained. Otherwise, truck owners, companies and the drivers themselves could be held liable if they cause injuries in an accident.