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Fatalities and injuries increase in trucking accidents

As New Jersey drivers know, the incidence of truck accidents increased in 2012 as compared with the previous year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This reflects an increase in the number of truckers and occupants of passenger vehicles injured or killed in crashes involving 333,000 large trucks.

In 2011, 88,000 individuals were injured in crashes with large trucks. This increased to 104,000 in 2012. Seventy-three percent of the total numbers of individuals hurt in such crashes were the occupants of passenger vehicles, and 24 percent were truckers. Pedestrians and bicyclists accounted for 3 percent.

In 2012, 3,921 individuals died in an accident with large trucks, up from 3,781 in 2011. Truckers accounted for 18 percent of those killed in 2012, and those in passenger vehicles were involved 73 percent of the time. Pedestrians and bicyclists accounted for 3 percent.

According to NHTSA, trucks are generally struck in the rear and hit other vehicles head-on. Most truck accidents happen on weekdays during the daylight hours on rural roads. In New Jersey, 819 vehicles were involved in fatal crashes and of this number, 61 were large trucks. This represents 7.4 percent of the total.

A truck accident often results in tragic consequences for occupants of passenger vehicles. This is due in part to the weight difference between the vehicles as well as the difficulty a truck has in stopping quickly due to its momentum. If the truck driver is negligent, the family of an individual killed in a crash may wish to seek financial reparation for funeral cost and the loss of the decedent's income by filing a wrongful death suit. An attorney may assist by reviewing accident data to build a case against the trucker and possibly the trucker's employer.

Source: National Center for Statistics and Analysis, "Traffic Safety Facts – Large Trucks", January 03, 2015

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