Illinois motorists should know that fatal truck accidents in the United States increased in 2015, 2016 and 2017, according to new data released by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The information was presented in January at the 2019 Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

In addition to an overall rise in deadly truck crashes, the FMCSA reported that the number of fatalities involving large trucks, the number of fatal work zone crashes involving one or more large trucks and the number of large truck occupant deaths also increased each of the last three years. It should be noted that 2017 is the most recent year for which data is available.

To address the rise in truck-related fatalities, the FMCSA is reminding truck drivers to follow strict safety rules while on the road. These rules include using turn signals to indicate all lane changes and turning on the truck’s flashers when traffic is slowing down or stopped. The agency is also reminding truckers that federal law bans them from holding a cellphone or tablet while driving because it increases the risk of causing a distracted driving crash.

Truck drivers and trucking companies are required to follow all road safety rules when operating commercial vehicles. If a negligent trucker causes an accident, he or she could be found liable for any injuries that occur as a result of the crash. For example, with the aid of an attorney, an injured victim could file a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation for damages. A successful claim could help the victim obtain a settlement for current and future medical expenses, lost income, property loss, pain and suffering and other losses related to the crash. Victims could learn more about their legal options by contacting an attorney for a consultation.