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Semi-trucks and other large commercial vehicles routinely make their way along the roads, highways and freeways of Mississippi. The extreme size and weight of these vehicles may present significant risks to others if and when an accident occurs with one of these big rigs.

Despite advancing safety technologies in vehicles and regulatory guidelines for truckers, fatalities from accidents involving large trucks have jumped in Mississippi.

A deadly three-year trajectory

According to data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 81 people died in large truck crashes in Mississippi in 2014. Those people represented 13.3% of the state’s total vehicular fatalities that year.

In 2015, the state experienced a slight decline in truck accident deaths to 72, representing 10.6% of all accident deaths. Unfortunately, the following three years saw the trend reverse for the worse.

In 2016, 90 people lost their lives in semi-truck accidents, accounting for 13.1% of the state’s vehicular fatalities. That grew to 105 deaths the following year, making up 15.3% of all accident deaths. In 2018, 16.2% of Mississippi’s vehicular fatalities occurred in large truck crashes as 108 truck deaths were recorded.

Federal regulations aim to improve safety

From vehicle maintenance to impaired driving and more, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration provides regulations that commercial truckers and commercial trucking companies must adhere to. Safety often features prominently as a reason for these regulations.

One notable set of rules is the Hours of Service rule. This outlines the maximum number of hours a trucker may work and drive each day and each week with a goal of preventing fatigued operation.