In 2017 there were 37,133 fatalities in the United States (50 States and the District of Columbia, excluding Puerto Rico), a decrease of 2 percent from 2016 (37,806). 2017 traffic fatalities and the percentage change from 2016 for each State, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Rhode Island, District of Columbia, and West Virginia had the greatest fatality increases from 2016 to 2017 at 63 percent, 15 percent, and 13 percent, respectively, while New Hampshire and Iowa had the greatest decreases at 25 percent and 18 percent, respectively. In Colorado alone, there were 648 reported fatalities - representing a 7% increase from the prior year.
The National Highway Traffic Saftey Administration recently published StateTraffic Data Key Findings concluding:
- Traffic fatalities decreased by 2 percent from 2016 to 2017 (37,806 to 37,133) for the United States.
- The fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) was 1.16 for the United States in 2017, but ranged from a high of 1.78 to a low of 0.56 among States.
- Twenty-seven States showed decreases in traffic fatalities between 2016 and 2017. They accounted for 1,242 fewer fatalities.
- Since 1975, the first year that the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) began collecting data, the rate of traffic fatalities per 100 million VMT in the United States has decreased by 65 percent (3.35 to 1.16).
- From 2008 to 2017, the District of Columbia had the largest increase in the percentage of alcohol-impaired fatalities at 104 percent, while Kansas had the greatest decrease at 39 percent.
- Seventy-six percent of the passenger vehicle occupants killed in Massachusetts in 2017 were known to be unrestrained, the highest percentage in the country.
- In 9 States, 70 percent or more of motorcyclists killed were known to be unhelmeted at the time of the crashes in 2017.
Before dealing with the trucking companies' insurance company, schedule a free consultation with an experienced Denver truck accident lawyer at Mandelaris Law to discuss your options for recovery. Both State and Federal agencies are created to regulate and monitor semi-trucks, truck drivers and motor carriers for compliance with laws created by the Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. These regulations require a minimum standard of care for truck drivers and trucking companies to follow. Many trucking companies do not meet the minimum requirements. Insurance carriers and defense lawyers specialize in shifting the liability to other persons and entities, which may make an accident victims' recovery difficult.
You will need a skilled advocate on your side that knows the complexities of federal and state trucking laws. When you are involved in an accident involving a commercial vehicle, time is of the essence. Prompt action must be taken to issue spoliation letters to preserve vital evidence concerning the maintenance of the truck and driver qualification file and associated drivers logs. A trained lawyer will likely hire accident reconstructionists and trucking safety experts to assist in the determination of root cause of potential negligent actions.
Call (303) 357-9757 to speak with a truck accident lawyer at Mandelaris Law to discuss your options for discussing your insurance claim with the claim's adjuster.