Study looks at trucking accident risks

A study shows that the volume of trucks on a road can greatly impact the chance of a large trucking accident happening.

Most Louisville residents know that things like extreme fatigue or being under the influence can be factors involved in some large trucking accidents. A study conducted by Taylor and Francis took a look at how two other things may impact the risk of these crashes. Science Daily reports that the volume of trucks on a road relative to other vehicles and speed were noted to have an influence on truck accident risk.

A look at how speed makes a difference

Truckers often drive on highways and freeways which results in their speeds often being at 50 or 55 miles per hour However, the study found that even at only 45 miles per hour, the chance of a truck being involved in a fatal collision doubles. It also showed that collisions in which speed played a part are more likely than other crashes to cause serious personal injuries. In comparison, collisions that result from an improper maneuver on the part of drivers are more likely to cause damage to property and not deaths.

A look at how truck volume makes a difference

The study made clear how the number of trucks on the road relative to other vehicles impacts the truck accident potential. The accident risk was shown to rise at a greater rate than the volume. Therefore, when truck volume rises by one percent, the truck accident risk rises by even more than that. An increase in truck volume continues to raise the truck accident risk even if the volume of all traffic decreases.

Truck accident deaths in Kentucky

Nationwide, there are close to 4,500 deaths in trucking crashes each year. Large trucks comprise roughly eight percent of all traffic in the country yet are associated with 11 percent of vehicular fatalities.

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives a view of how many people in Kentucky are affected by these deadly crashes. Details include the following:

  • In 2009, truck accidents were involved in 112 deaths.
  • In 2010, truck accidents were involved in 100 deaths.
  • In 2011, truck accidents were involved in 88 deaths.
  • In 2012, truck accidents were involved in 82 deaths.
  • In 2013, truck accidents were involved in 78 deaths.

Even with a reduction in the number of deaths over these five years, there are still too many lives lost in these tragic accidents.

Other accident factors

Research has also been conducted by the NHTSA and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regarding the impact of other factors. Some of these include driver performance and driver judgement or decision making. Others pertained to a driver's ability to recognize and respond to hazards.

The reality is that there are many things that can impact a truck accident. Regardless of the cause, victims are left to suffer the consequences. They also have to face the challenges of working with trucking companies and commercial insurers to try and receive the right levels of compensation. Working with an attorney is recommended as a way of getting the right help in pursuing such compensation.