Truck accidents by the numbers

Trucks remain a necessary, albeit deadly, part of the road. Many trucks can weigh 20 to 30 times that of a passenger vehicle. They are often higher up, which can result in cars being pulled under and dragged. All of these factors add to the dangers of these pieces of machinery that dominate highways and streets. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety compiles data to identify problem areas and reduce them to improve safety.

In 2014, 3,660 people died in accidents involving trucks. Only 16 percent of those fatalities were truck drivers, and the rest were passenger vehicle occupants (68 percent) and pedestrians, motorcyclists and bicyclists (15 percent). Data have been collected since 1975, and they show a fairly consistent drop in fatalities for truck accidents. But the data does show some troubling trends in the past few years.

As you can see, truckers have it relatively safe when they get into accidents. The large size and height of the trucks improves their safety. Federal law limits truck drivers to no more than 11 hours of driving a day and up to 77 hours a week. Unfortunately, surveys indicate that truck drivers regularly violate these controls. It appears that the next best way to improve truck safety is to ensure that drivers get the appropriate amount of sleep and add automation to reduce driver mistakes on the road.

If you were injured in an accident involving a truck, then you may want to speak to an attorney. Truck accidents, unlike car accidents, may involve multiple parties. When you get into a car accident, you exchange information and your insurance companies figure it out. A truck is covered by multiple different types of insurance. Moreover, the truck driver could work for a dispatcher or independently. There are numerous issues that an attorney can help you pick through to arrive at a cohesive legal strategy.

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