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Commercial trucks: lopsided cause of serious accidents

I-87, I-95 and I-78 are just three of the interstate highway abbreviations with which New York City residents have a love-hate relationship. Yes, we sometimes get from Point A to Point B faster by taking an interstate, but the highways are  often frustrating for drivers experiencing slowed traffic.

In far too many cases, traffic is slowed or even stopped because of a truck accident that has caused serious injuries or even fatalities. Studies have shown that large commercial trucks are disproportionately involved in fatal crashes.

A study published in the International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion shows that as the number of trucks increases on any particular road, the risk of severe crashes rises. Just a one percent increase in the percentage of trucks on a road - even those with low traffic volume - will send the risk of deadly crashes higher, researchers said.

Crashes involving 18-wheelers are responsible for about 4,500 fatalities per year in the U.S. In addition, there are the enormous losses in property and productivity and the pain of personal injuries.

Though big rigs represent just 8 percent of all highway traffic in the United States, they are involved in 11 percent of all fatal crashes.

One of the biggest factors in determining the severity of the more than 1,000 truck crashes studied in the research was speed. When large commercial trucks are going faster than 45 mph, the risk of a fatal accident is doubled, according to the study.

Those who have been injured or lost a loved one in a truck accident should speak with an experienced law firm about your rights and interests before discussing a settlement with the trucker's insurance company. The insurer is after a settlement that favors their bottom line; a personal injury attorney can help you protect your rights and your interests instead. It is best to contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.    

Source: Science Daily, "Trucks a significant cause of severe accidents, study finds," accessed Oct. 6, 2014

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