Do patterns emerge from large truck accident crash data?

In an effort to keep America's roads and highways safe, a federal agency called the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration collects crash data. A recent fact sheet about large truck accidents reveals some notable information.

In a truck accident, smaller vehicles usually come out on bottom. Nationwide, 73 percent of truck accident fatalities in the year under review were occupants of other vehicles and 10 percent were non-occupants. Only 18 percent of the truck accident fatalities in that year were occupants of the large trucks. Occupants in other motor vehicles also suffer the majority of injuries in crashes involving a large truck. 

In a recent example, an Alabama driver of an SUV was killed instantly when a large truck crashed into him. The SUV was struck as it was crossing Highway 82. The westbound truck dragged the SUV over 100 feet, causing it to catch fire.

Notably, commercially licensed truck drivers are subject to special federal safety regulations, such as limits on their daily and weekly hours behind the wheel. Such laws acknowledge the catastrophic or even fatal injuries that large trucks can generate due to their sheer size.

In this story, the causes of the crash are still under investigation. Evidence of driver error or noncompliance with federal regulations could be enough to persuade jurors that a claim of negligence has been proven by a preponderance of the evidence in a personal injury lawsuit. An attorney can investigate whether the driver's license and his or her vehicle were in compliance with applicable regulations.

Source: WIAT, "Highway 82 reopened after fatal accident, victim identified," Tim Reid, Oct. 22, 2015

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