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Data shows large truck accidents are on the rise

People who use the highways in Pennsylvania may be interested in some data about large truck accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released statistics about fatal and nonfatal truck accidents that took place across the United States in 2012. According to the NHTSA, there were 4 percent more fatal truck accidents in 2012 than there were in 2011.

The NHTSA reported that there were a total of 3,921 truck accident fatalities and approximately 104,000 truck accident injuries in 2012. Among the fatalities, 73 percent of the deceased individuals had been occupants of other vehicles. When the nonfatal truck accident injuries were looked at, researchers concluded that nearly three-quarters of those victims were the occupants of other vehicles.

When a large truck is involved in a fatal crash, research shows that the crash is likely to affect multiple vehicles on the road. The NHTSA found that 81 percent of fatal truck accidents in 2012 involved multiple vehicles. In comparison, only 58 percent of fatal passenger vehicle accidents in 2012 involved multiple vehicles. Data also showed that fatal truck accidents involving two vehicles were most likely to occur while the two vehicles were driving straight rather than turning.

Research shows that many fatal truck accidents involve truck drivers who have other crashes or prior convictions for speeding on their records. An attorney may be able to help a truck accident victim by determining whether the truck driver was distracted, under the influence or otherwise negligent. If evidence reveals driver negligence, it may also be possible to hold the driver's employer responsible under the theory of vicarious liability.

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "Large Trucks", accessed on Jan. 16, 2015

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