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Large truck accident figures released

California drivers might be interested in the findings of a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration report about truck accidents. The number of trucks that were involved in fatal accidents increased 3 percent from 2015 to 2016; a critical event in 73 percent of these crashes was an animal, object, person or another vehicle crowding into the truck's traffic lane.

The large truck involvement rate, which reflects the number of fatal large truck crashes per 100 million miles of large truck travel, stayed constant at 1.46 between 2015 and 2016. The FMCSA defines large trucks to include trucks with gross weight ratings greater than 10,000 pounds. There were more registered large trucks in 2016 at 11.5 million compared to 2015's 11.2 million.

According to the report, large trucks were involved in 4,213 fatal crashes in 2016. The accidents were more likely to occur on interstate highways or in rural areas. Specifically, 61 percent of fatal large truck accidents happened in rural areas while 27 percent happened on interstate highways. In 2016, there were 104,000 large truck injury crashes resulting in 145,000 injuries. Among passenger cars, there were more than 2 million nonfatal accidents in 2016, causing at least 3 million injuries.

More than a third of truck accidents occurred between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. according to the report. A person who has been injured in a truck accident might be entitled to recover for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages or other damages. An attorney with experience in personal injury law may be able to help an injured person by reviewing the facts of the case and attempting to negotiate settlement with at-fault parties or their insurers. An attorney might gather medical records and other evidence in preparation for trial or draft and file a civil court complaint for damages.

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