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Annual report shows decline in fatal truck crashes

North Carolina motorists who have been stuck in traffic because of a truck accident up the road may appreciate that the number of trucks involved in fatal accidents around the country went down by 5 percent in 2014 from the previous year. The statistic was part of a report published annually by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, although the data did not apportion blame.

When actual vehicle miles traveled were taken into account, fatal accidents involving large trucks declined by 6 percent in 2014. Truck fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled went from 1.43 in 2013 to 1.34 in 2014. Despite the drop in fatal truck accidents, the FMCSA found that accidents causing injuries went up by slightly more than 20 percent between 2013 and 2014.

The FMCSA report also included statistics about where fatal truck accidents took place in 2014. Around 61 percent of fatal truck accidents occurred on rural roads while just 26 percent of fatal truck accidents happened on interstate highways. After the report was issued, the American Trucking Association said that it was pleased to see the decline in fatal truck accidents. The ATA also pointed out that the short-term decline is part of a longer trend and that there had been a 39 percent decrease in fatal truck crashes between 2004 and 2014.

Even when 18-wheeler accidents do not result in fatalities, the injuries that others on the road incur can be catastrophic. While some truck accidents are unavoidable, many are caused by truck drivers who are impaired, distracted or otherwise negligent. When that is the case, a lawyer can often assist an injured victim in pursuing compensation from the driver and in some cases the trucking company for medical expenses and other losses.

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