Many people in New Mexico and across the country fear driving near large trucks, especially due to the damage that can be caused when one is involved in a crash. Due to the size, weight and mass of semi-trucks, other drivers and passengers involved in a collision are far more likely to face serious injuries or even death as a result. For the past 15 years, researchers have relied on a study conducted from 2001 to 2003 by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for statistics and information about the causes and frequency of large truck crashes nationwide.

The agency says that it is planning to conduct a new study of large truck crashes that required vehicles to be towed away or caused injuries or fatalities. The updated study would aim to assess changes in driving that have taken place in the past 15 years, including the use of electronic systems inside large trucks that track lane departure, braking and speeding. It would also look at the impact of electronic distractions, such as texting while driving or using cellphones, which have become far more common since the last major FMCSA study.

The previous study found that driver errors were the most common contributor to trucking accidents. Mechanical issues were also a concern, with brake problems posing a serious safety issue. While safety design has been enhanced since that time, devastating truck accidents have been on the rise, with a 52.6% increase between 2009 and 2018.

Cellphone use poses a serious threat on the road, especially when the negligent driver is operating a massive semi-truck. People injured in truck accidents caused by a distracted truck driver may find it advisable to have legal assistance when seeking compensation for medical expenses and other losses.