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FMSCA 2015 report indicates increase in deadly truck accidents

While all accidents can result in serious injuries, truck accidents can be particularly devastating due to the large size of commercial trucks. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or "FMCSA," recently revealed in their "Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts 2015" report that over 4,000 trucks were involved in over 3,500 fatal accidents in 2015. This is close to an 8 percent increase since 2014.

One reason for the increase in accidents could be the increase in the number of miles traveled by commercial trucks. The FMCSA found the large truck involvement rate also jumped by 8 percent.

Only 1 percent of large truck accidents in 2015 involved fatalities. However, out of the 415,000 truck accidents reported to police in 2015, 20 percent resulted in injuries. Approximately 64 percent of these deadly accidents involved two vehicles, while 20 percent involved non-motorized vehicles or pedestrians. A majority of fatal truck accidents occur on rural roads.

Truck accidents in West Virginia can be caused by a number of issues, but a large number of fatal accidents are caused by negligent truck drivers. Truck drivers must be adequately trained and adhere to federal regulations when driving across the country. If they fail to abide by these rules, they could be found liable for any accidents they cause.

Another common issue is driver fatigue. Drowsy driving accidents can result in serious injuries and fatalities. Truck drivers are known for driving long hours and having to sacrifice sleep in order to make their deliveries on time. Federal regulations require drivers to take frequent breaks and log their driving hours. Failure to follow these regulations can constitute negligence and negligent drivers may be found liable for accident-related deaths and injuries.

Source: Commercial Carrier Journal, "Fatal truck crashes increase in 2015," Matt Cole, April 10, 2017

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