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Large truck accidents accounted for 104,000 injuries in 2012, showing that highways can be dangerous places for smaller cars. These numbers, from the latest report of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), represent an 18% increase in the number of injuries compared to 2011. Large truck accident fatalities increased by four percent over the same period, up to 3,921 in 2012.

Truck Accidents Are Especially Dangerous for Smaller Vehicles

When a large truck collides with a smaller car, the chances for a serious injury or fatality increase significantly. In particular, these collisions mean likely injury or death for car drivers and passengers. Seventy-three percent of the people injured in truck accidents in 2012 were occupants of other vehicles besides the truck, 24 percent were occupants of large trucks, while another three percent were not occupants of any vehicle.

When it came to fatalities, 73 percent were occupants of other vehicles, 18 percent were occupants of large trucks, and ten percent were non-occupants of vehicles. The numbers for fatalities are similar, although ten percent of the fatalities from truck accidents were non-occupants of vehicles. In all, drivers and passengers of other vehicles involved in truck crashes are nearly three times more likely to be injured, and four times more likely to be killed, than occupants of large trucks.

One type of truck accident that can be particularly dangerous is the rear-ending of a large truck. According to the NHTSA statistics, in fatal two-vehicle collisions, trucks were rear-ended almost three times as often as non-truck vehicles. This is fairly self-explanatory, as rear-ending a large truck is nearly equivalent to driving straight into a concrete wall, and can have deadly consequences. As with all auto accidents, alcohol consumption greatly increases the likelihood of crashing, getting injured, or dying on the road. While the rate of intoxication among truck drivers involved in accidents was relatively low, the rate for drivers of other vehicles in the same accidents was unacceptably high.

While all truck accident injuries and fatalities increased from 2011 to 2012, the number of injuries to non-truck occupants and non-occupants of vehicles jumped starkly. Together, the injuries and fatalities for these groups increased by nearly 20 percent. Again, this shows just how dangerous the roads can be for drivers and passengers of smaller vehicles. While all auto accidents are unfortunate, truck accidents in particular can be deadly, and seem to be getting deadlier. Drivers of smaller vehicles need to be especially careful and change their driving habits when necessary, and those involved in accidents with large trucks should seek out quality legal representation to protect their rights and interests.

What to Do if You Are Involved in a Truck Accident

If you or a loved one has been killed or injured in a truck accident, and you are thinking about litigation, you should contact a personal injury attorney immediately. An experienced truck accident lawyer can review the facts of your case and determine whether you have a viable claim. If so, they can help you seek the compensation you deserve.

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