Truck crash fatalities are down, but serious injuries are way up

A recent report from the Federal Motor carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) showed a peculiar change in truck crash outcomes. Fatal accidents are down about 6 percent. That's good news.

On the other hand, however, injuries from truck crashes are up significantly, by 21 percent.

The reasons for this seeming contradiction are obvious, if you think about it:

· Technology is making truck accidents more survivable than in the past. Sensors and intelligent brake systems are preventing accidents that would have definitely occurred in years past.

· Truck drivers are on the road fewer hours per week, with the onset of the 34-hour restart.

· Injuries may be on the rise because the economy is on the mend, putting more trucks on the road more hours of the day.

· The economy may also play a role in the fewer fatalities stat. Trucks going 30 mph because of sluggish traffic are less likely to kill people.

Crash statistics are complex, with so many factors feeding into results - weather, highway funding, changes in record-keeping. And it's no comfort to if a family member is injured in a truck crash - no matter that the number of deaths is down.

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