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Dump and ready-mix concrete truck crashes are rising

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has a report out that should be of interest to truck drivers in West Virginia. The trucking industry is plagued with rising accident rates, and it's especially apparent among dump trucks and ready-mix concrete trucks. The report states that serious accidents among these two types of trucks rose 9 and 9.6 percent, respectively, from 2015 to 2016.

By serious accidents, the report means accidents where the truck must be towed away. In 2016 (the latest year with statistics), there were a total of 8,206 dump truck tow-away accidents and 838 similar crashes among concrete delivery trucks. Dump trucks were involved in 5,483 crashes that resulted in injuries. Injury crashes rose 2.7 and 3.8 percent among dump trucks and concrete delivery trucks, respectively.

Fatal accidents declined slightly from 369 to 367 for dump trucks. For the concrete trucks, they rose from 33 to 38. The above data has led some experts to claim that current efforts to prevent truck accidents are ineffective.

Bad driving habits influence the trend. Many truckers feel that it's fine to speed or violate hours-of-service regulations in order to meet deadlines, especially when they receive by-the-load incentives. This leads to many cases of drowsy driving. Phone use behind the wheel, and other forms of distracted driving, also pose problems.

Truck driver fatigue is a form of negligence. If it's to blame for an accident, a crash victim may have good grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. A lawyer could evaluate one's case before they move forward. Legal counsel could ultimately negotiate for the settlement and even prepare the case for court as a last resort.

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