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What's to blame for truck crashes?

Statistics recently released by the Department of Labor (DOL) found that nearly a half-million tractor-trailer crashes happen each year in the United States. Among those, 140,000 include injuries. At least 5,000 people lose their lives in them. The number of big rig crashes doesn't appear to be on the decline either.

Researchers with the DOL found that truckers, much like any other motorists, are often plagued by distracted driving. They, however, note that semitruck drivers appear to be far less irresponsible when compared with your average motorist.

As for one reason truckers tend to be safer drivers than other vehicle operators, the DOL suggests it has to do with the fact that driving is what their career centers around. They're only able to continue working in the profession as long as they maintain a safe driving record.

They also warn that truckers are often not to blame for the collisions they become involved in. In fact, according to the DOL, they're only believed to be at fault for some 30 percent of all crashes. In cases in which they are to blame, it's often because they drove while distracted, didn't see a car driving in one of their blind spots, were speeding or other driver error.

Instances in which fatigued motorists cross center lines, crashing head-on into trucks account for 29 percent of truck crashes. Motorists fail to give trucks enough space to stop, causing them to crash into the rear of vehicles in just shy of 30 percent of cases as well.

Truckers deemed responsible for truck crashes often get too little rest. This is one of the reasons the DOL suggests that the large majority of truck crashes occur during the hours of 6 a.m. and 3 p.m.

If a trucker is under extreme pressure, such as having to get a load delivered on a tight deadline, then he or she may not properly inspect his or her vehicle for safety, resulting in a crash.

Researchers also found that the risk of fatal truck accidents is lower on interstates at just 30 percent compared to the 53 percent risk on other major roads. Speed is a factor in as many as 20 percent of all fatal truck crashes.

If you've been seriously injured in tractor-trailer crash, then a Houston attorney can advise you of your rights in your personal injury case.

Source: American Trucker, "The lesser-known contributors in truck accidents," Landon Biehl, accessed Jan. 05, 2018

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