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Large truck fatalities up as overall vehicle deaths decline

Drivers, passengers and pedestrians in Louisiana can take comfort in knowing that vehicle-related fatalities are on the decline. This is the main takeaway from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data comparing fatal accident statistics for 2017 with the previous year. There was a nearly 2 percent drop in the number of people who perished in traffic accidents in 2017, according to the NHTSA. While this is certainly promising news, the one glaring trend in the opposite direction was the 9 percent increase in fatal accidents involving large trucks.

There were nearly 400 more fatal large truck accidents, like the kind that might include a collision with an 18-wheeler, in 2017 than what occurred the year prior. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration responded to the stats by noting that not all of the fatalities that occurred involved commercial trucks subject to FMCSA or Department of Transportation oversight. According to the FMCSA, there was also a significant increase in deaths related to 10,000- to 14,000-pound trucks for the time period evaluated.

Multi-vehicle crashes involving large trucks also saw a nearly 9 percent spike during the same time period. Just over 15 percent more large truck occupants also lost their lives in both single- and multi-vehicle collisions involving larger trucks. On a positive note, passenger vehicle, motorcycle, cyclist and pedestrian accidents resulted in fewer fatalities in 2017 than what was reported in 2016. Speeding-related deaths also dropped, and about 8 percent of all traffic deaths were related to distracted driving.

When personal injuries related to motor vehicle accidents involve possible negligence, a lawyer may attempt to identify any and all responsible parties. This process might involve looking at electronic logs to find evidence of truck driver fatigue, reviewing traffic cam footage, interviewing witnesses or checking vehicle maintenance records. Depending on the circumstances involved, an attorney may help a client seek compensation for lost wages and medical costs.

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