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Fatal accidents involving tractor-trailers are on the rise

Fatal accidents involving semi-tractor trailers and buses were more common in Louisiana and other U.S. states in 2015 according to the annual Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts report released by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. It reveals that the number of large commercial vehicles involved in deadly crashes surged by 8 percent in 2015 from the previous year and has risen by 20 percent since 2005, and data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Fatality Analysis Reporting System suggests that 2016 was even more deadly on America's roads.

The FMCSA reported that the large truck involvement rate also increased by 8 percent in 2015 from 1.34 to 1.45. This figure represents now many fatal truck accidents tractor-trailers are involved in for every 100 million miles traveled. Road safety advocacy groups say that an increase in vehicular traffic was largely responsible for a 7 percent increase in all road deaths during 2015, but the FMCSA report reveals that the total miles covered by large trucks only increased by 0.3 percent in 2015.

The NHTSA began compiling the FARS data cited in the FMCSA report in 1975. According to these records, deadly truck accidents peaked in 2005 when 5,231 trucks and buses crashed, but improvements in safety technology, more diligent law enforcement and stiffer federal regulations helped to lower this figure by 34 percent between 2005 and 2009.

Truck accident victims often suffer catastrophic injuries that sometimes leave them unable to work and earn a living for prolonged periods. Experienced personal injury attorneys may take great care when calculating damages in truck accident lawsuits to ensure that the amount being sought is sufficient to cover the lost income and long-term medical costs of their clients.

Source: National Public Radio, "2015 Traffic Fatalities Rose By Largest Percent In 50 Years, Safety Group Says", Bill Chappell, Feb. 18, 2016

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