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Seat belt neglect may be partly behind rise in CMV crash deaths

Mississippi drivers who neglect to wear their seat belts should be aware of the added dangers they face. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has just studied commercial motor vehicle crash data for 2017 and found that the rise in crash fatalities is partly due to seat belt neglect.

Specifically, there were 5,005 CMV crash fatalities in 2017, a significant increase from the 3,193 fatalities in 2009. Of these, 841 were large truck occupants -- 717 drivers and 124 passengers. Of the 717 drivers who were killed, 322 were found without their seat belts on.

The seat belt compliance rate is 86 percent among CMV drivers, including large trucks and buses. On the other hand, it's about 90 percent for passenger vehicle drivers. Overall, researchers believe that at least half of all the CMV drivers killed were not wearing their seat belts.

This is just one of the major factors in the rise. The FMCSA also notes that speeding was involved in one-third of the CMV crashes. Distracting driving, failure to yield, intoxicated driving and careless driving in general were factors, too. However, the FMCSA is especially calling for better enforcement of seat belt laws and supporting the use of new vehicle automation technology on commercial trucks.

As the above data shows, negligence is behind many truck accidents. When it's the trucker who is to blame, a crash victim might be able to file a claim against the applicable insurers. A lawyer can help build up the case and negotiate for a reasonable settlement covering past and future medical expenses, lost wages and more. As a last resort, the lawyer can prepare for litigation.

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