A total of 22 people lost their lives in large truck accidents in Bernalillo County between 2009 and 2013.
In New Mexico and throughout the southwest, semi trucks and other large commercial vehicles pose serious risks to other motorists every day. News sources report on accidents involving these big rigs that leave innocent victims suffering from a range of injuries. Still others die in these crashes.
Take, for example, a crash just days before Christmas 2014 along a stretch of Interstate 10 near Las Cruces. According to KVIA.com, a passenger vehicle was hit from behind by a semi truck which then overturned. The crash caused a chain reaction involving many other vehicles. This wreck claimed the life of one 43-year-old woman from Arizona. Four more people were injured. The freeway was closed for an entire day due to the investigation.
How many people die in these crashes each year?
Next Mexico residents should be concerned when looking at statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. State data from the years 2009 to 2013 shows an ongoing problem regarding fatal truck accidents. Specific facts include the following:
- In 2009, 36 people died in truck crashes.
- In 2010, that number rose to 46.
- In 2011, the fatality county rose again to 48.
- In 2012, the number of people who died dropped slightly to 42.
- In 2013, truck accident fatalities jumped significantly to 54.
In Bernalillo County along, 22 people died in accidents involving large commercial trucks during this time period.
What causes truck accidents?
Many factors can contribute to truck accidents. Driver fatigue, unsafe speeds, and the use of drugs or alcohol are sometimes involved.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration introduced new rules aimed at reducing truck driver fatigue in 2013. These rules included changes to the break requirements for drivers. Supply Chain Digest indicates that controversy erupted over the changes and led Congress to issue a stay on the new rules until further data could be collected. JOC.com reported that the research has recently been completed and the government could receive a report on the findings by the end of December.
Speeding may be able to be investigated by installing special devices into truck. Business Insurance explains that these devices would allow the speeds at which trucks are driven to be monitored.
The FMCSA is pursuing two avenues to crack down on impaired driving among truckers. One is the random testing of drivers. Bulk Transporter notes that these tests were supposed to last for a set time but have been continued now. At the same time, the Commercial Carrier Journal indicates that a new process surrounding driver hiring will focus on drug and alcohol tests, history and use.
What does this mean for New Mexico residents?
The government realizes there is a need to reduce truck accidents. However, while it continues to find ways to do this, these crashes can still happen. When they do, it is important for victims to advocate for themselves. Talking to an attorney as soon after a crash as possible is one way to do this.