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Common factors in commercial truck accidents

The past 10 years have seen an estimated 20 percent increase in commercial truck accidents in West Virginia and the rest of the U.S. This is an alarming figure, considering how there are more than 15 million commercial trucks on America's roads. The recent Large Truck Crash Causation Study has shown that the majority of accidents are caused by truck driver negligence.

The study was the result of collaboration between the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Researchers examined data from 120,000 crashes taken from a span of 33 months. They found that almost 75 percent of these crashes involved one other vehicle.

The causes of the accidents were broken down into four categories: poor decision-making, recognition, nonperformance, and performance. The first means that the truck driver engaged in some negligent or reckless action, like speeding or following too closely to another vehicle. This behavior accounted for 38 percent of the crashes. The second cause means that a trucker failed to recognize a danger because of inattention or distraction. 28 percent of accidents resulted from this factor.

Nonperformance comprised several situations. For example, a trucker may have fallen asleep or suffered a medical episode. This type of circumstance factored into 12 percent of crashes. Failures in performance, such as panicking and improper evasive actions, were to blame for 9 percent of the crashes.

Truck accident victims may have the grounds for a claim, especially if there's proof of trucking company negligence. For example, to make a delivery on time, truckers may be pressured by their employers into driving longer than federal guidelines permit. Evidence of this may be found in the trucking log. With a lawyer, the victim can get access to this and other proof as well. Accident attorneys usually have investigators assist them with their cases, and they can negotiate for the settlement on their clients' behalf.

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