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Report offers insight into large truck accidents

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has released its final 2016 Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts report. The final numbers went public in May 2018, which was about a year after preliminary data was released. According to the report, large truck fatal crashes were up 3 percent over the previous year. There was no North Carolina-specific information released. While the number of fatal large truck crashes increased, the large-truck involvement rate remained steady.

This rate measures how many such vehicles were involved in a fatal accident for every 100 million miles they traveled. To qualify as a large truck, a vehicle must have a gross weight rating of over 10,000 pounds. The majority of these accidents occurred on weekdays, and over one-third of such crashes occurred between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. Furthermore, 61 percent of large truck fatal accidents took place on rural roads with another 15 percent taking place on interstates that were located in rural areas.

Of truck drivers who were involved in fatal crashes, 2 percent had a blood alcohol content of higher than .08 percent. However, the report states that 20 percent of passenger vehicle drivers had a blood alcohol content of more than .08 percent when an accident occurred. In 2016, 13 percent of those who were in a large truck at the time of a fatal crash were not wearing a seat belt.

If a person is killed in an accident, the family of the victim may file a wrongful death suit. Those who are injured in trucking accidents caused by negligent drivers may file a lawsuit on their own behalf. An attorney may review a case to see if a driver was intoxicated, distracted or otherwise acting in a negligent manner when an accident took place.

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