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Truck accidents responsible for significant number of deaths

In America's current economic and consumer climate, tractor-trailers and other large trucks play a critical role in moving goods across the country. For example, with the aid of large trucks, residents on the East Coast can enjoy fresh fruit and vegetables from California during times of the year when the climate does not allow them to grow their own locally. Sadly, many drivers behind the wheels of these types of vehicles ignore important safety standards that are designed to keep everyone on the road as safe as possible. When those standards are ignored, serious injuries can result from truck accidents

Sadly, in wrecks involving semi trucks and passenger vehicles, it is usually the trucks that typically fare much better. According to data from 2012, in wrecks involving one large truck and one passenger vehicle, the resulting deaths overwhelming occurred in the passenger vehicle, with truck drivers only accounting for 4 percent of the deaths. Annually, truck accidents contribute 10 percent of all deaths resulting from wrecks.

So what exactly is going on? One study believes that fatigued drivers play an enormous role in truck accidents. Truck drivers typically spend long hours behind the wheel, and studies have found that many drivers violate federal standards that restrict the number of driving hours. However, even drivers who adhere to the standards can still pose a risk. Drivers who spend upwards of eight hours behind the wheel increase their chance of causing a wreck by a factor of two. 

With the valuable role that semi trucks play, it is unlikely to see these types of large trucks disappearing from the roadways anytime soon. Although efforts have been made to reduce the risk of truck accidents by tightening federal regulations, people in California and across the country are still dying every year in these types of wrecks. While filing a lawsuit may initially be the furthest thing from a family's mind in the aftermath of a fatal truck accident, a wrongful death suit can be an exceptionally effective course of action for obtaining compensation for related damages, such as funeral costs, and for securing a sense of justice for a loved one's death.

Source: iihs.org, "Large Trucks", Accessed on April 4, 2015

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