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Evaluating the causes of trucking accidents

Louisiana residents who have questions about compensation after a crash involving a truck should remember the different causes of commercial truck accidents. Over the past decade, the number of accidents involving trucks has gone up by roughly 20 percent. The Large Truck Crash Causation Study, a collaboration between the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), sought to determine the most common causes of these accidents and discovered that the majority are caused by the driver.

The study examined data from 120,000 fatal commercial truck crashes that took place over a 33-month span. Nearly 75 percent of the deadly crashes involved at least one other automobile. Truck drivers were found to responsible for 68,000 of these crashes. For example, the truck driver's decision-making caused 30,000, or 38 percent, of these fatal crashes. Either the truck driver was speeding, following other vehicles too closely, not checking his or her blind spots or driving too fast in inclement weather.

Recognition was another factor in these accidents and caused 22,000, or 28 percent, of crashes. Recognition was defined as inattention or distraction. A total of 9,000, or 12 percent, of fatal crashes were caused by nonperformance of the truck driver, meaning he or she fell asleep or suffered a medical condition.

Finally, performance was evaluated. Performance was the cause of 7,000, or 9 percent, of these deadly accidents. Performance was defined as a driver overcompensating, panicking or not exercising proper control of the truck.

If someone has been injured in a crash involving a commercial truck, he or she should consider working with an attorney experienced in trucking accidents. A lawyer may be able to prove that the truck's driver was at fault, potentially leading to compensation for the victim's injuries. Compensation may include pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages and other damages.

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