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What you always wanted to know about truck crashes

You are probably aware that in the event of a collision between an 18-wheeler and a passenger car, the truck almost always wins. However, it may surprise you to learn where such crashes often occur.

No one wants to be in an accident with a big rig. Therefore, the more familiar you are with truck-car crash information, the more prepared you are to avoid a potential disaster.

A two-year comparison

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration analyzes data of all kinds concerning commercial trucks. You can sift through the FMCSA truck crash statistics to make comparisons between accidents in 2017 versus 2015. For example, law enforcement officers reported approximately 450,000 large truck crashes in 2017 as compared with 415,00 in 2015. In 2015, 1% of the crashes were fatal, and 20% produced injuries. In 2017, 1% of the crashes were again fatal, and the injuries increased to 23% over 2015.

Where crashes occur

FMCSA data shows that more than half of all crashes involving large trucks occurred in rural areas: 57% in 2017 and 60% in 2015. The cause was another vehicle, person, animal or object that was already in or coming into the truck's path. However, motorists also drive faster than they should on rural roads, and some motorists drive intoxicated.

Bigger, not better

In 2015, singles, tractors that pull one semi-trailer, represented 65% of large commercial trucks in crashes where fatalities resulted. In 2017, 23% of large trucks crashed because the driver lost control or because a separate truck-related event occurred. And here is something to keep in mind after you and your friends enjoy a nighttime sporting event together or an evening out for dinner and drinks: The majority of large truck crashes occur between 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. Alcohol is often a factor, more so for those behind the wheel of passenger vehicles than for truckers, so consider making someone a designated driver whenever alcoholic beverages figure into your activities.

The local scene

In 2017, there were 44 fatal crashes around the New Orleans area, and some involved large trucks on I-10 and US-90. Keep the statistics in mind, remain alert and drive safely. If you survive, a crash between your passenger vehicle and a big rig could change your life forever.

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