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Truck accident deaths rise

In 2015, 4,067 people in this country were killed in accidents involving a large truck. This was a four percent increase from 2014, according to a February 2017 report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A large truck is classified as a medium or heavy truck with a gross vehicle weight rating over ten thousand pounds.

North Carolina had 120 fatal accidents involving large trucks, which resulted in 130 deaths in 2015. This constituted 6.2 percent of the 1,949 vehicle accidents involving deaths in the state. Truck accidents involving fatalities in the state comprised three percent of the national total in 2015. There were also 116,000 people injured in large truck crashes across the country in 2015. This was also a four percent increase from the 111,000 estimated injuries one year earlier.

The national statistics also revealed other disturbing news. The NHTSA found that 74 percent of the people killed in truck crashes and 73 percent of those injured were occupants of other vehicles. In North Carolina, 110 of the 130 crash fatalities were not truck occupants or passengers.

Two percent of the truck drivers in these crashes in the United States also had a blood alcohol content higher than the legal limit. However, this was lower than drivers of other vehicles involved in fatal accidents. Drunk driving was involved in 21 percent of crashes for passenger vehicles, 20 percent for light trucks and 27 percent for motorcycles.

The NHTSA also concluded that large trucks were more likely to be involved in a deadly multi-vehicle crash compared to passenger cars. A quarter of the deadly truck accidents occurred on an interstate and were more likely to take place in a rural area and during daylight hours on a weekday.

Victims of a truck accident may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and other losses. An attorney can help obtain evidence and ensure that valid claims are pursued in court.

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "Large Trucks," Accessed March 17, 2017

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John McCabe wrote "The Investigation and Analysis of Personal Injury Cases" in the best-selling book Personal Injury Practice in North Carolina. This is the book that other lawyers follow in handling personal injury cases.

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