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Searching for the cause of trucking accident fatalities

Drivers in Colorado may be concerned to learn that fatalities in large truck accidents reached their highest point in 29 years in 2017. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 37,133 people died in motor vehicle accidents throughout the year, a slight decline from previous years. At the same time, however, trucking accident deaths rose 9 percent, reaching 4,761. While 1,300 truck drivers lost their lives in these crashes, 72 percent of the fatalities were drivers and passengers in other vehicles.

The size and weight of large commercial trucks mean that other drivers are at particular risk in case of a trucking accident. Some say that the increased risk is at least partially attributable to federal trucking safety rules. Truck drivers must take a mandatory rest break after eight hours on the road, and some drivers say that they begin to speed up in order to make up time before taking the required break. However, safety officials noted that truckers have no right to put others on the road at risk in order to drive ahead, especially when they are fatigued.

Truck driver fatigue is another significant contributor to dangerous and deadly crashes. Many crashes occur at least 20 miles from a rest area, and a lack of available parking can be a risk factor for these accidents. Still others pointed to causes linked to other types of motor vehicle crashes. Some older drivers accused young truck drivers of texting or using infotainment systems while driving. Others reported that some drivers use automatic cruise control and even put their feet up while driving.

Trucking accidents can cause permanent disabilities and life-changing injuries, and many are caused due to negligent, distracted or dangerous driving. A personal injury lawyer may work with accident victims to pursue compensation for their damages, including lost wages and medical bills.

Source: Trucks.com, "More Trucking Deaths May Be Caused by Drivers Racing the Clock", Alan Adler, 10/31/2018

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