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Truck accident injuries on the rise

Fatal truck accidents decreased in 2014 throughout the country from the previous year, but injury rates were up, and truckers in California and across the U.S. are wondering what is causing this. According to a report from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there was a 21 percent increase in truck accident injuries in 2014, but the number of trucks involved in fatal accidents was down 5 percent from the 2013 total.

Some theories have been advanced to explain this seeming discrepancy. An FMCSA spokesman says that big rig accidents are more survivable now. Forward collision warning, automatic braking, electronic stability control and other technological innovations have made it less likely that an accident will be fatal.

The vice president of the American Transport Research Institute attributes the rise in injury to the industry's 34-hour restart provisions. The effect of these regulations has put more trucks on the road during morning rush hours when speeds are far lower. More vehicles can equate to more accidents, but lower speeds can mean that the results are less deadly.

Because of the overwhelming size and weight of many commercial trucks, occupants of other vehicles as well as pedestrians may sustain catastrophic injuries in truck accidents. These accidents may occur because the driver is drowsy or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They might also happen because of a mechanical problem with a poorly-maintained big rig. All of these could constitute negligence, and a person who is injured may find that having the assistance of an attorney is advisable when attempting to seek compensation for medical bills and other losses.

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