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What truckers can do about the rise in truck fatalities

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has reported that the number of large truck crash fatalities has increased each year from 2015 to 2017 (the latest year for which statistics are available). It revealed other disturbing news at the 2019 Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting, so truckers and fleet owners in Louisiana may be interested.

Each of the three years mentioned above also saw an increase in fatal work zone crashes involving at least one large truck. Specifically, the percentage went up from 26.8 in 2015 to 30.4 in 2017. The percentage of fatal large truck crashes rose as well during each year. From 2016 to 2017, there was an increase in both the percentage and the number of deaths in large truck and/or bus crashes.

The FMCSA has not said whether truckers are to blame for these trends. There are things that truck drivers can do, though, to prevent accidents. First, they should be aware of the dangers posed by work zones. It’s a good idea to have the turn signal on early when merging into an open lane. When traffic is slowed or stopped, the flashers should be used. Avoiding distracted driving is a top priority. This means doing certain things before driving, such as seat, mirror and radio adjustment. If the company allows hands-free phone use, it should be put where it cannot slide away.

Unfortunately, many accidents are caused by truck driver fatigue, speeding, alcohol or drug intoxication and other forms of negligence. Occupants of other vehicles who have been injured might want to have the assistance of an attorney when attempting to seek compensation for their medical expenses and other losses.

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