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Mystery to be solved: Why are truck accident injuries up when deaths are down?

Virtually everyone loves a good mystery. Countless novels and television shows are made possible by this premise.

Motor vehicle accident statistics are usually more straightforward. But not always.

In this post, we will address the question of why injuries from truck accidents are up at a time when deaths are down

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently released a report on truck accidents in 2014. FMCSA found that fatal accidents were down 5 percent that year overall and down 6 percent when calculated according to miles traveled.

Injuries, however, were up, not down. In fact, injuries from crashes involving trucks increased by more than 20 percent.

A spokesman for FMCSA said the disparity between the two trends is really not contradictory at all. This is because technological advances such as automatic emergency breaking systems may be making many crashes less severe - and therefore less likely to be fatal.

That reasoning does not necessary fit all the facts, though. After all, those same technological advances - which also include forward collision warnings - should logically be reducing crashes (and the injuries that go with them) as well as deaths.

It may be that a random element is in play in the statistics, particularly in the uptick in fatalities.

There is also another possible explanation. The differing trend in truck accident injuries and fatalities may be related to recent federal rule changes in truck drivers' hours-of-service.

In an effort to cut down on accidents caused by driver fatigue, the new rules require drivers to take more time off the road before resuming driving again. The "34-hour restart" part of this rule may have resulted in more drivers on the road during the day rather than the night.

Driving during the day means driving on roads with more traffic and at slower speeds. That combination could account for the fact that deaths are down while injuries are up.

In short, there are competing theories on the causes behind the conflicting truck accident data trends. But there is no doubt that injuries have been going up.

There is also no doubt that people injured by others' negligence have the right to pursue full and fair compensation. If you were harmed by a truck accident, it makes sense to talk with a personal injury attorney about your legal options.

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