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Understanding the data driving big trucks

Illinois continues to be a major manufacturing hub of the Midwest. This means that there will always be a plethora of commercial semitrucks hauling goods along our interstates and secondary roads.

Annually, thousands of truck collisions cause injuries and deaths all over the nation. The human toll is exacerbated by the expense of insurance claims to attempt to ameliorate the damages. That, in turn, is compounded by the cost of traffic jams that tie up vehicular travel and expend resources as first responders treat victims and clear wreckage from highways.

According to the Department of Transportation, in a single year:

-- Roughly 11 billion tons of freight gets moved by trucks.

-- Over $8.3 trillion in consumer goods is hauled.

-- There are a half-million accidents involving trucks.

-- 20,0000 big rig drivers or other occupants were injured in collisions, and 529 died.

-- Per 100 million miles driven by trucks, there are 1.1 fatal accidents.

Truck collisions are increasing and frequently involve fatalities. Data provided by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety from 2010 indicated that:

-- Some 286,585 million miles were traveled by truck drivers.

-- There were 3,413 fatalities in accidents involving big rigs.

-- Of those deaths, 14 percent were in the truck.

-- Three-quarters of fatal accidents involving trucks were with tractor-trailers, with the remaining quarter with single large trucks.

-- The vast majority of fatalities occurred to occupants of other vehicles -- 72 percent.

-- 13 percent of those who died were pedestrians, bicyclists or motorcyclists.

-- Big rigs account for 4 percent of all registered vehicles, yet are involved in 9 percent of all motor vehicle accident fatalities.

If you lost a loved one in a fatal truck collision that was the fault of the truck driver, you have legal options available to you should you choose to pursue litigation against that driver who took your loved one's life and possibly against his or her employer.

Source: Truck Driving Jobs, "Truck Driving Accidents – Causes, Fatalities, Statistics and Costs," accessed Sep. 15, 2016

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