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FMCSA: commercial vehicles an outsized roadway risk nationally

Here are two quick takeaways from accident-related data concerning commercial vehicles that was released last week by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

For starters, those vehicles -- large trucks and buses -- are noted by a national media article discussing the FMCSA findings as being "disproportionately involved in crashes on the road."

And, second, given that commercial vehicles "are the biggest dog in the fight,"accident outcomes involving trucks or buses and other motorized vehicles (as well as bicyclists and pedestrians) are sadly predictable. That is, while truck and bus occupants escape injury in many such crashes and collisions, the same cannot be said for individuals from the other aforementioned demographical groups.

In fact, fatalities in such accidents that occurred nationally during 2013 were occupants of passenger vehicles, motorcyclists, bicyclists or walkers about 83 percent of the time.

Here's a telling statistic from the FMCSA regarding that disproportionate involvement in accidents cited above: Reportedly, so-called "heavy trucks" and buses comprised about 4 percent of all motorized vehicles on American roads in 2013, but were involved in approximately 13 percent of all fatal crashes that year.

For obvious reasons, that worries regulators.

And it is especially troubling as regards California, which the FMCSA lists as being among a minority of states where most fatal crashes occur. Given California's size, high population, complex road system and heavy commercial traffic, a reported downside is hardly surprising news.

Federal regulators are currently working with city executives across the country on an initiative aimed at promoting transportation safety nationally. The program is multifaceted and includes a focus on better training for many police officers who have shown a hesitancy to stop large commercial vehicles for safety violations.

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