Large trucks and fatal accidents

There's No Substitute for Experience

Of the 1,379 vehicles involved in fatal accidents in Tennessee during 2012, 107 were large trucks. This figure represents nearly 3 percent of large trucks involved in such incidents throughout the nation during that year. While Tennessee's numbers aren't the highest, this data does indicate that there is certainly room to improve the state's safety strategies to obtain reduced accident numbers.

Across the country, nearly 4,000 individuals died in large truck accidents during 2012, and more than 100,000 were injured. The fatalities represented an increase of 4 percent on a national level. Nearly 75 percent of those who died occupied vehicles other than the large trucks in the related incidents.

As Tennessee residents and lawmakers consider how to make improvements in safety for motorists, the types of incidents involving large trucks may assist in forming plans. In 81 percent of trucking accidents, multiple vehicles were involved. Nearly half of two-vehicle trucking incidents involved both vehicles traveling straight at the time of the wreck. The other half of such incidents varied in nature, including turning in 9 percent of incidents, negotiating a curve in 12 percent and a stopped or parked vehicle in a traffic lane in 7 percent of cases. Alcohol consumption by a truck driver in excess of the legal limit was only an issue in 2 percent of 2012 trucking fatalities.

Those concerned about improving trucking and motorist safety on Tennessee roads may find that interacting with state legislators to discuss programs and policies may help in understanding the greatest problems facing the state. In some cases, those affected by trucking accidents become some of the greatest advocates for such action by sharing their stories with lawmakers and with the community at large. Awareness campaigns can also help those sharing the roads with large trucks as they learn safety strategies to use while driving.

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