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2016 saw 3 percent rise in fatal truck crashes, says FMCSA

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has just released a data drill-down report that may be of interest to drivers in Mississippi, especially operators of large commercial vehicles. Entitled "2016 Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts," the report shows that the year in question saw a 3 percent rise in the number of fatal large-truck collisions -- 4,213 compared to the previous year's 4,074.

These resulted in a total of 4,317 fatalities, which was 223 more than in 2015. At the same time, the large-truck involvement rate stayed the same at 1.46. This means that 1.46 trucks were involved in a fatal crash for every 100 million miles traveled.

As for the location of these crashes, 61 percent took place in rural areas. Another 27 percent occurred on interstate highways, with 15 percent crossing over both categories. More than a third of crashes happened between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. when visibility is poorer and drowsiness is at its height.

The reason for the increase may partly lie in the fact that 2016 saw 300,000 more registered trucks on the roads. The number of non-fatal crashes involving large trucks went up significantly from 83,000 in 2015 to 104,000 in 2016. The top causes for fatal crashes were speeding as well as distracted or inattentive driving. Alcohol intoxication was more common among passenger vehicle drivers than truckers.

Whatever the cause of a truck accident, if it was due to the truck driver's negligence, the victim may be eligible for compensation. This is where a lawyer can come in and assist with the filing of the personal injury claim. If the victim died, an eligible dependent can file a wrongful death suit.

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