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Fatal truck crash rates climb in 2015

New York residents may be aware that traffic fatalities have increased in recent years. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the number of trucks involved in such crashes increased from 2014 to 2015 by 8 percent. In 2015, there were 4,050 large trucks, which are defined as those weighing more than 10,000 pounds, involved in 3,598 fatal crashes. Furthermore, the number of trucks involved in such crashes per 100 million miles traveled increased to 1.45 from 1.34.

Of fatal crashes involving large trucks, 64 percent involved two vehicles. Another 20 percent of wrecks involving large trucks were single-vehicle crashes involving pedestrians or collisions with non-motorized vehicles. Overall, there were approximately 415,000 accidents involving large trucks that were reported to police. Of those crashes, 83,000 resulted in injuries, which is about 20 percent of all crashes reported.

According to the data, 60 percent of fatal accidents involving large trucks occurred on rural roads compared to 25 percent on highways. There were a total of 3,996 truck drivers who were involved in fatal crashes in 2015 with 206 of those being 25 or younger. Of those who died, 667 were truck occupants, which was a 2 percent increase from 2014, and truck drivers made up 89 percent of those fatalities.

Those who are involved in a truck accident may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses and other losses. This may be true if the accident was caused by negligence on the part of a truck driver or his or her employer. Legal counsel may establish negligence by pointing out that trucks were not maintained properly or that drivers were not adequately trained. It may also be established by arguing that the driver didn't stop or slow down in an effort to avoid a crash because he or she was distracted or impaired.

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