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Truck crashes much more likely to involve other vehicles

Pennsylvania residents have been hearing a lot about trucking safety in recent months, especially after the accident that seriously injured comic Tracy Jordan earlier this year. Some of the discussion has centered on the state and federal regulations that govern trucking, and some of it has centered on pressures within the trucking industry to move more goods more quickly. One aspect of the discussion that may not get as much attention as it deserves is the number of people who are injured or killed in commercial truck accidents.

According to statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,921 people were killed or injured in collisions involving large trucks in the year 2012. Of those 3,921 people, just 697 were occupants of the trucks themselves. The others -- 83 percent of the total -- were occupants of other vehicles, pedestrians and others nearby.

There are several reasons for this discrepancy, almost all of them having to do with the sheer size and weight of 18-wheelers and other commercial trucks. The NHTSA found that large trucks are much more likely to be involved in multiple-vehicle crashes than are other types of vehicles. According to the NHTSA, multi-vehicle crashes account for 58 percent of fatal passenger vehicle accidents, but they account for 81 percent of fatal

truck accidents


Because semitrailers are so big and heavy, when they do collide with smaller vehicles, the occupants of the smaller cars and trucks are likely to suffer serious injury. The injured may have enormous medical expenses, they may be out of work for months or they may even be permanently disabled. In cases of fatal accidents, the victim's family is left without their loved one's companionship and income.

When these losses are the result of someone else's negligence, the injured or their families can recover compensation for their damages through a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. In many cases, the trucking company may be held liable for the damages. Pennsylvania attorneys with experience in these cases can help the injured or their families to understand how the law applies to the circumstances of their case.

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "

Traffic Safety Facts: 2012 Data

," accessed Aug. 21, 2014

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "

Traffic Safety Facts: 2012 Data

," accessed Aug. 21, 2014

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