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Learn the facts about large truck hazards

Virginians who use the interstates to commute or simply travel for everyday purposes frequently have to contend with large trucks that can become very lethal hazards.

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, in 2014, 3,903 individuals died and roughly 111,000 others were injured in collisions with large trucks in the United States. That same year, it's estimated that there were 438,000 big rigs involved in accidents that got reported to the police.

While those statistics are indeed sobering, deaths from accidents with these large commercial trucks actually declined 2 percent from 2013 to 2014, dropping from 3,981 to 3,903. That appears not to be a one-off as statistics over a decade show a 26 percent decline in the total number of fatalities from highway collisions with large trucks, from 5,240 deaths in 2005 down to 3,903 in 2014.

The breakdown of the fatalities for that year, which is the latest data available to study, showed that 73 percent of those who died were in other vehicles, 17 percent were in large trucks and 10 percent were pedestrians, motorcyclists or bicyclists.

These commercial rigs had a higher probability of being involved in fatal wrecks involving multiple vehicles rather than single-vehicle crashes than passenger vehicles. Highway fatalities involving big trucks were multi-vehicle collisions in 81 percent of the incidents in 2014. To compare, only 59 percent of fatal wrecks involving passenger vehicles also involve multiple other vehicles.

The mechanics of a crash matter as well, because 45 percent of fatal two-vehicle accidents in 2014 were head-on collisions. Just 10 percent of the fatal crashes happened when the other vehicle made a left or right turn.

Regardless of statistics, if you are suffering from injuries from an accident with a large truck, you have the right to pursue compensation.

Source: National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, "Large Trucks," accessed Aug. 26, 2016

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