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Truck accident statistics demonstrate problems

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, recent crash statistics demonstrate a need to prioritize safety for large truck drivers. Large truck accidents happen far too often in South Carolina and around the country, and people in the accidents who are in other vehicles face a greater likelihood of being killed or suffering serious personal injuries.

In 2013, 3,964 people were killed in collisions with trucks across the nation. Those killed included drivers of both the trucks as well as other vehicles, pedestrians and other vehicle occupants. The number of fatalities represented an increase from the number of people killed in such accidents in 2012, and was the fourth straight annual increase.

The NTSB points to issues with truck safety enforcement as well as a legislative weakening of regulations for the industry. One problem is that of truck driver fatigue. Despite the issue, Congress weakened a regulatory provision that would have limited truck drivers to not driving any more than 82 hours over an eight-day period of time. The NTSB is calling for legislators to more tightly regulate truck drivers, mandate the inclusion of accident-avoidance technologies and give stricter rules regarding driving hours.

Given the large size and weight of these trucks, those who are hit by them are at great personal risk of suffering catastrophic injuries. Truck accidents are, in many cases, major ones. People who are seriously injured in truck accidents may have permanent disabilities as a result. Improved regulations appear to be warranted in order to prevent such collisions and to save lives. In many cases, these accidents are caused by negligent acts or omissions of the truck driver, whether due to distractions or driving too fast for the road conditions. In such an even, a personal injury action may result in compensation being awarded to the injured party.

Source: Bloomberg News, "Trucking Safety Should Be a Higher U.S. Priority, NTSB Says", Alan Levin, Jan. 13, 2015

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