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Unusual fluctuations in accident statistics involving trucks

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has published statistics regarding trucking accidents in 2014. This data showed clear changes in the pattern of incidents involving trucks in Oklahoma and across America, but the reasons for the pattern remain cause for active speculation within the industry.

The number of trucks involved in an accident that caused an injury grew remarkably from 2013 to 2014. There was a recorded increase of approximately 21 percent in just one year. During the same amount of time, the number of trucks involved in fatal accidents actually declined. There were 5 percent fewer deadly truck accidents in 2014 than there had been the year before.

Industry groups attempted to explain these findings, but there was no definitive proof of any theory. One was that certain regulations concerning the number of hours that drivers must be off the road after reaching their limit has caused more trucks to be operating during morning hours when speeds are far lower due to increased traffic. This could account for the increase in the number of injury accidents rather than fatalities that often are a result of speeding. Another theory is that safety technology like advance warning systems has led to more accidents being survivable.

The fact remains, however, that truck accidents often result in catastrophic injuries to others who are on the road at the time. Part of the reason is the sheer size of commercial vehicles compared to passenger cars. When an accident is caused by a negligent truck driver, a personal injury attorney can help a victim pursue compensation from the driver as well as in some cases from the company. Damages sought in a lawsuit could include medical expenses and lost wages.

Source: Overdrive Online, "Fatalities down, injuries way up. What gives?", Max Heine, May 2, 2016

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