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New study categorizes major causes of trucking accidents

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration have collaborated on a study of the major causes of trucking accidents. Called the Large Truck Crash Causation Study, it has produced conclusions that should be of interest to commercial truck drivers in Louisiana.

Researchers studied a total of 120,000 fatal commercial truck accidents that occurred over a 33-month period. In these cases, they found that the trucker was to blame more than half the time. Almost 75 percent of these crashes involved at least one other vehicle. The major causes for truckers were broken down into four categories.

The first category, decision, accounted for 30,000 of the trucker-caused crashes. It includes situations where truckers acted recklessly, such as by speeding or following too closely to other vehicles. The second-most common category, recognition, covers those situations where truckers failed to foresee and react properly to dangers on the road. 22,000 crashes fell under this category.

The final two categories were non-performance and performance. While the former includes cases where truckers crashed because they fell asleep or suffered a medical episode, the latter includes times when truckers panicked, overcompensated at a turn or otherwise showed poor directional control.

When truck drivers are to blame for car accidents, the victims can file injury claims against the at-fault parties. In many cases, however, accidents prove fatal for those in the car. In such instances, the family can step in and file a wrongful death suit to be reimbursed for losses like pre-death medical bills and funeral and burial expenses. A lawyer can assess the claim and build it up with the help of third-party investigators.

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