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Commercial trucks play a vital role in the economy of West Virginia and around the country, delivering around 70 percent of all the nation's products. However, the downside is that many of them are involved in serious accidents every year. Worse, the number of annual truck crashes has increased by 20 percent over the last 10 years.

To learn more about the problem, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration teamed with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to study the most common causes. The agencies studied crash data from 120,000 fatal truck accidents over a nearly three-year period and found that approximately 56 percent of them were caused by the truck driver. They also found that nearly 75 percent of the crashes involved at least one other vehicle.

Of the crashes that were blamed on the truck driver, 38 percent were attributed to poor decisions. Examples included speeding and tailgating. Another 28 percent of crashes were attributed to lack of recognition by the driver, including distracted driving and inattentiveness on the road. Finally, 12 percent of the crashes were attributed to truck driver nonperformance, such as a medical condition, and 9 percent were caused by truck driver performance issues, such as failing to maintain control of the vehicle.

When big rig accidents are caused by truck driver error, injured victims have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation for damage that could include medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and property loss. Victims could learn more about their legal options by consulting with a personal injury attorney.

Source: Benzinga, "Causes Of Commercial Trucking Accidents", Nalini Prasad, Feb. 12, 2018

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