Risks of large truck crashes reviewed in study

Michigan residents have good reason to be concerned about the dangers involved in sharing the road with large trucks.

People who live in Michigan may understandably be concerned about the dangers of large trucks on their area highways and roads. When a smaller passenger vehicle is hit by a much bigger, heavier truck, the risk for serious injury and even death is all too real. Factors like truck driver fatigue or drug use are sometimes discussed as dangers that can affect these crashes. While those may well be involved in some accidents, Taylor and Francis released a study that discusses some other risk factors.

According to Science Daily, how many trucks are on the road relative to other vehicle types can see the chance of a truck crash spike. So too can the speed at which a large truck is driven.

Truck volume on the road

In looking at the study data, the rate by which accident risk increases every time and additional one percent of trucks are added to the road is disproportionate to the volume hike. In other words, a one percent addition of trucks results in an accident opportunity much greater than one percent.

Truck speed and accidents

Many roads and highways that large trucks are driven on have speed limits above 45 miles per hour. This is the threshold above which the opportunity for a fatal truck crash to occur doubles. In the study, speed was found to be associated with serious bodily injury when crashes happened. Damage to property alone was found to be associated more with accidents involving poor maneuvering of a truck.

Important crash data

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatalities in truck accidents in Mississippi over a five-year span include the following:

  • There were 88 deaths recorded from truck crashes in 2013.
  • There were 73 deaths recorded from truck crashes in 2012.
  • There were 61 deaths recorded from truck crashes in 2011.
  • There were 85 deaths recorded from truck crashes in 2010.
  • There were 67 deaths recorded from truck crashes in 2009.

Nationwide, approximately 4,500 deaths occur from large truck collisions each year. Large trucks are found to be involved in 11 percent of all vehicular deaths yet only make up eight percent of vehicular traffic.

Other accident causes

Certainly traffic volume and speed are not the only elements involved in truck accidents. The NHTSA and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration note that things like falling asleep at the wheel, impairment and driver distraction can all be causal elements. So too can road conditions or problems with a vehicle.

How victims can get help

With the potential for deadly results, truck accident victims or family members in Michigan need a lawyer to help them seek the right compensation for their injuries and suffering. Contacting an attorney is always recommended for these purposes.