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The dangers of commercial truck accidents

As a previous post highlighted, a large number of tractor-trailers travel on all types of roadways in Iowa and other states across the nation. This makes truck safety an important issue; however, to understand why these measures are imperative, the dangers that large trucks could pose on the roadways should be understood.

A recent study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration considered the rate of fatal and injury causing truck accidents occurring that year. When looking at the decade before, the number of fatal commercial truck accidents decreased from 4,721 to 3,906 from 2003 to 20013. While this is a 17 percent drop, roughly 327,000 police-reported truck crashes were reported in 2013.

The majority of fatal truck collisions occurred on a weekday, meaning Monday through Friday. This is most likely related to the heavier commercial truck traffic on these days. Additionally, the report found that about two-thirds of all fatal truck crashes occurred on rural roads, while about 25 percent happened on rural or urban Interstate highways.

Although the study focused much on crashes involving a truck and one or more other vehicles, the study also considered single-vehicle truck accidents. This category included those crashes that involved pedestrians, cyclists and non-motorized vehicle. These types of incidents made up roughly 22 percent of all fatal crashes.

While fatal truck accidents are on a decreasing trend, this study shows that these types of accidents are still common on roadways across the nation. Those harmed by a serious or fatal truck crash should understand that there is legal recourse available to them. Victims can file a personal injury suit while loved ones of the deceased can seek compensation through a wrongful death claim. A civil action could help victims and loved ones cover expenses and damages related to the incident.

Source: FMCSA, "Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts 2013," accessed Oct. 12, 2015

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