Truck accidents are responsible for about 4,500 deaths every year. In Texas, there were 3,398 deaths due to vehicle accidents in 2013. Of those, 101 were fatalities in large truck accidents.

Past studies in regard to large truck accidents have focused on the severity of the crash as related to the involvement of alcohol, drugs, driver inattention or a combination of those factors. A new study reveals that the primary predictor for gauging the severity of truck crashes is the number of trucks on the road.

The study examined more than 1,000 accidents that occurred during a five-year period. The researchers examined multiple factors including: characteristics of the driver, the environment, the amount of traffic and the type of vehicles involved. Severity was determined by the damage done to both people and property. Injuries were defined as non-incapacitating, incapacitating and fatal. The researchers found that the volume of trucks on the road, independent to the amount of overall traffic, was the greatest predictor of severe crashes. Excessive speed was also an indicating factor as well as the gender of the driver and the level of fatigue.

When someone is injured or killed in an accident involving a truck, if the driver or the company is thought to be negligent, the victim may want to consider filing a claim for personal injury or wrongful death. These types of claims are filed in Civil Court and are intended to compensate the victim or their family in the case of a fatality in order to alleviate any financial burden incurred due to the accident as well as the emotional pain and suffering that accompanies a tragedy. Civil actions can be filed independently of any criminal charges or convictions. An attorney who is familiar with personal injury and trucking accidents may be a good source of support and guidance in a difficult situation.

Source: Science Daily, “Trucks a significant cause of severe accidents, study finds“, Taylor & Francis, December 05, 2013