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What's behind the rise of trucking accidents?

A motor vehicle accident of any kind is generally a stressful event for those involved. Certain accidents can result in more significant losses for victims, especially when the outcome is serious injury, property damage or even fatality. Motorists can take precautions, but crashes still happen.

If you or someone you know here in Louisiana has ever been involved in an accident with a tractor-trailer, you know just how serious that kind of accident can be. The sheer size and weight of a big rig means that the results of the crash will likely be more significant than those involving another passenger vehicle are. In 2017, deaths due to truck accidents reached a 29-year high. Experts have ideas regarding why the number rose to that level and what motorists of all kinds can learn today.

What the numbers say

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that although traffic fatalities of all kinds dropped in 2017, the number of fatalities involving a semi-truck went up by 9%. This means that 392 more people died due to this type of accident than in the previous year. Nearly three-quarters of those deaths were not the truck driver, but someone in the other affected vehicle. A significant number of truckers who died were not wearing seat belts, suggesting that ordinarily, these large vehicles provide significant protection to their occupants.

Possible reasons for the increase

A representative for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration admitted that these numbers are definitely concerning. He also said that part of the reason for the increase is the rise in the amount of freight transported. The more trucks on the road and the heavier the cargo they hold, the more likely a resulting accident will prove fatal.

Another factor that experts cite is the increase in distracted driving. Reports show that accidents involving distracted driving, in vehicles of all types, have gone up. Added safety features to trucks, such as automatic emergency braking and cameras are standard on many trucks now, but they cannot always account for a negligent driver.

Know your rights after a truck accident

Though there are things that you can do to protect yourself from a truck accident, many factors are not within your control. If a trucker falls asleep or otherwise drives negligently, it could result in a serious accident. Anyone who has been in this kind of accident with a careless truck driver may have several legal options available.

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