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FMCSA seeks auto accident numbers for small delivery vehicles


Large trucks are a common sight on the California freeways and drivers of passenger vehicles understand the danger they present. In general, they are less of a concern on the city streets. However, delivery vans and other vehicles used to transport goods and bring them to retailers and peoples’ homes are far more prevalent than big rigs. This is a mostly unregulated aspect of trucking. With the potential for car and truck accidents involving these vehicles, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is preparing to take a closer look at them.

Lack of oversight sparks worry over delivery vehicles

The FMCSA is gathering information on these delivery vehicles. It is a logical step with the exponential rise in people having items delivered to their homes rather than heading out to shop themselves. Until now, their safety statistics has been largely nonexistent for regulators and the FMCSA needs to know if it should step in. More and more, companies use smaller delivery vans in lieu of large trucks. Oversight is lacking.

It is not even known if the danger has risen significantly because of it. Still, more vehicles on the road and the schedules delivery companies and drivers maintain to complete their tasks could lend itself to recklessness and collisions. FMCSA does not have the right to intervene with vehicles that weigh 6,001 to 10,000 pounds – the category where delivery vans land. It is a worrisome gap.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2016 to 2018 had only five fatal crashes with small trucks. FMCSA does not believe this to be accurate. During that time, the absence of regulation made it a challenge to garner accurate numbers. The agency seeks fatality statistics in that weight range, how often injuries and damage occurred, states with current data on the issue, how to get companies to ensure their drivers are responsible, and gathering workplace data.

Considering the options after a delivery truck accident

People who have been injured or lost a loved one in car accidents will have a great deal to consider in the aftermath. From medical expenses, emotional trauma, lost contributions and the need to move forward after a radically changed life, it is a significant challenge. Federal agencies are trusted to keep the best interests of the public in mind when implementing safety requirements. Delivery vans can cause injuries and death for a variety of reasons and they are becoming increasingly visible in residential areas. After a collision, it may be wise to have legal advice on how to proceed when seeking compensation for all that was lost.