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FMCSA publishes report on 2016 truck crash trends

While safety measures and technology have kept truck crash fatality rates relatively low for the past two decades, there is still a lot more to be done. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 2016 saw a 3 percent increase in fatal truck crashes. This came down to 233 more deaths and 139 more large trucks involved in accidents. North Carolina motorists want to know more about the common factors in these accidents.

Of the 4,317 fatalities in 2016, 722 were large-truck occupants. Unfortunately, 13 percent of them were not wearing a seat belt. However, this rate decreased from 43 percent in 2015. Among driver-related factors, speeding and distracted or inattentive driving were at the top. Drunk driving was also an issue; although, it was far more prevalent among passenger vehicle drivers than large truck drivers.

The majority of fatal truck acidents took place on weekdays. Regarding the location of the crashes, 61 percent were in rural areas and 27 percent on interstate highways. Non-fatal crashes saw a more drastic increase than fatal -- 104,000 in 2016 compared to the previous year's 83,000.

It seems clear that the majority of 18-wheeler accidents are caused by human error. This means that victims of such accidents may have the grounds for a claim. Consulting a lawyer is generally the first step to determining if this is true. A lawyer can assist with every step, including the gathering of proof and the negotiations with the trucking company's own team of lawyers. The victim may ultimately be covered for medical expenses, vehicle damage and lost wages.

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