Study sheds new light on truck accident risks

A study shows that in addition to fatigue, impairment and other factors, the sheer volume of large trucks on the road may increase the chance of a serious truck accident.

New York residents may be aware that things like fatigue or impairment can be factors in accidents involving large trucks. A 2013 study by Taylor and Francis, however, returned some interesting results about other elements that impact these often serious and even fatal crashes. Science Daily explains that the study showed how both speed and truck traffic volume play into truck accidents.

The impact of speed

When truck speeds exceed 45 miles per hour, the risk of a fatal accident doubles. Accidents that happen when a truck driver is maneuvering a vehicle, like in making a lane change, result in damage to property predominantly. In comparison, accidents in which a large truck is driving directly forward with speed are more likely to result in serious injuries to victims.

The impact of truck traffic volume

According to the study, when the volume of truck traffic increases by even 1 percent, the chance of a truck accident increases at a greater rate. Additionally, fatality risks rise as truck volume increases, even if the overall traffic volume goes down.

Truck accident statistics

The study explains that the United States loses roughly 4,500 lives per year in truck accidents. Despite only accounting for 8 percent of traffic, large trucks are involved in 11 percent of traffic fatalities.

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows the following number of truck accident fatalities in New York state:

  • In 2013, there were 118 deaths.
  • In 2012, there were 100 deaths.
  • In 2011, there were 114 deaths.
  • In 2010, there were 120 deaths.
  • In 2009, there were 107 deaths.

In all, 559 people died in crashes involved large trucks on New York's roads and highways during these five years.

Other influencing factors

Research conducted by the NHTSA and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in 2007 reviewed several items that contribute in some form to truck accidents. Critical reasons for crashes were grouped based upon the type of influence they had.

Nonperformance reasons involved things like falling asleep while driving. Performance reasons involved things like failing to properly signal. Decision reasons would include speeding or showing poor judgment in some fashion. Recognition reasons include being distracted while driving.

It was also noted that vehicle or road problems can also be associated with truck accidents.

What victims need

In the aftermath of a truck accident, there can be a lot of confusion and many issues to face. Working with an experienced attorney is recommended to help victims pursue the appropriate level of compensation for their injuries and suffering.