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With Fatal Truck Accidents Rising, Family Members Need To Know Their Rights

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently released preliminary data that reports a 4 percent increase in truck-involved crashes involving fatalities in 2015 compared to 2014. The overall increase was 7.7 percent in 2015. This represents an estimated 35,200 people that died on U.S. roadways.

If the preliminary data is accurate, 2015 will be the deadliest year on U.S. highways since 2008. Ninety-four percent of crashes can be tied to a human choice or error. It is important for family members of those who have been killed in accidents that were caused by someone else's negligence to fully understand their rights. Working with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney who is familiar with the intricacies of commercial vehicle accidents is critical.

The latest confirmed statistics reported by the Department of Transportation report the following:

· As of December 2010, there were more than 1.1 million interstate motor carriers including for-hire, owner operators and private carriers

· In 2009, 529 large truck occupants were injured

· Annually, approximately 500,000 accidents involving trucks occur

· In 2010, there were 1.1 fatal crashes per 100 million truck miles

· In 2015, more people were killed in traffic accidents involving large trucks than have died in all of the domestic commercial airline crashes over the past 45 years

Causes of Truck Crashes

Regardless of the reporting agency, one thing that is common across the board is that truck crashes are rising and often involve fatalities.

The DOT released a detailed study called "The Large Truck Crash Causation Study" to analyze causes of truck crashes. Following are events that led to crashes between 2001 and 2003:

· Loss of control after a tire blowout

· Vehicle failures including engine issues or hood flying up

· Another vehicle encroaching on the truck's lane

· Poor road conditions as a result of maintenance issues or weather

· Speed

· Driving off the edge of the road

· Improper truck maneuvering

· Coming upon a stopped vehicle

· Objects on the highway

· Driver fatigue

All of this data points to one thing: precautions need to be taken to decrease truck-related accidents and research should be conducted regularly to determine ways to decrease these statistics . When accidents are caused by truck driver error, insufficient truck maintenance, dangerous road conditions or other factors that involve negligence on the part of another person or entity, those parties should be held responsible.

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