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Recent crashes highlight truck-accident trends

After a number or high-profile truck accidents, one news source highlighted different safety issues in the trucking industry. According to the report, the National Transportation Safety Board claims that trucks that failed to adjust to slowing traffic conditions caused accidents in Tennessee, Maryland, Illinois and Kentucky. These accidents highlight an increasing trend in truck-related fatalities.

According to data following recent trends, truck accidents decreased and hit a low in 2009. However, more accidents involving the large vehicles are being reported in the years following that dip, and 3,921 truck accident fatalities were reported in 2012. Some have claimed that trucking companies are pushing workers to physical limits and are trying to limit scrutiny on driver fatigue allegations. In addition, while some trucks are outfitted with state-of-the-art safety technology that is supposed to help a driver avoid collisions, these vehicles still become involved in fatal crashes due to a driver's condition. For example, the truck that apparently injured Tracy Morgan and killed another person in a New Jersey crash was equipped with collision avoidance systems and speed limiters, but the driver behind the wheel had apparently not slept for 24 hours.

However, the American Trucking Association, a trade group, suggests that any increase in accidents are related to the continued growth of the economy and blames the high number of accidents on an increase in demand for the transport of goods. A spokesperson for the group argued that a jump in miles driven by truckers leads to additional exposure to danger on the roads, which results in an increase in accidents.

Strict federal regulations control how long a truck driver can be behind the wheel, and failure to adhere to those standards may be considered negligence in court. Individuals who have been negatively affected by an accident caused by the negligence of a truck driver might be entitled to compensation that can be claimed through a civil action filed in court.

Source: NJ.com, "In wake of Tracy Morgan crash, rising truck fatalities lead to new scrutiny", Ted Sherman, June 15, 2014

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