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Study illustrates the dangers of trucking accidents

Although many truck drivers in West Virginia work hard to operate their vehicles properly, the trucking industry overall appears to have a safety problem. Over the past decade, there has been a 20 percent increase in truck accidents. The Large Truck Crash Causation Study investigated the reasons behind these wrecks and determined that truck driver errors are the cause of many accidents.

Researchers looked at data from 120,000 fatal accidents involving commercial vehicles over a 33-month period. They classified driver problems into the categories of decision, recognition, nonperformance and performance. Decision errors included tailgating, speeding and failing to adjust speed to account for road conditions. Recognition represented failures to see situations that required drivers to take action. Distractions inside and outside of the cab and outright inattention caused recognition problems.

Nonperformance described incidents of drivers falling asleep, experiencing a medical problem or being impaired. Performance problems involved drivers panicking or overcompensating when confronted by a challenge.

A semi-truck accident could leave a person with serious injuries that require extensive medical care and time away from work. If necessary, a crash victim could consult an attorney about making a personal injury claim. Legal counsel could investigate the insurance coverage provided by the trucking company and look for evidence of negligence. This information would strengthen a plaintiff's chances of recovering adequate compensation. When necessary, an attorney could prepare a lawsuit to force the issue with the responsible parties. If the case goes to trial, an attorney could present the evidence about negligence to a jury.

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