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Deadly tractor-trailer crashes are on the rise

Tractor-trailers are the biggest things rolling down Interstate 10 as it passes through Lake Charles. The big rigs that weigh tens of thousands of pounds more than passenger vehicles are also the most difficult vehicles to maneuver or stop.

Recent news reports say that the rate of deadly truck crashes is rising not only in Louisiana, but across the nation as highways carry bigger and bigger loads of traffic.

A recent article on truck traffic safety pointed out that the overall number of fatal traffic accidents is down nationally, except for one category: crashes involving large commercial trucks.

According to a 2017 study by the federal government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatal collisions involving big trucks were up nearly 10 percent from the year before. The figure includes medium- and heavy-duty trucks as well as big rigs, the NHTSA said.

To absolutely no one’s surprise, research conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that most fatalities in crashes involving a large truck and a passenger vehicle are among motorists in the smaller and lighter cars, SUVs and pick-ups.

The number of fatalities in those crashes hit a historic low in 2009 during the economic downturn, but has risen steadily in the years since. The NHTSA says deadly truck crashes are up nearly 30 percent in the decade since that low.

Traffic safety experts say the best ways to keep motorists safe on our highways and streets is for truckers and passenger vehicle drivers to avoid distractions, impairment and excessive speed whenever they are behind the wheel.

If you or a loved one has been harmed in a collision with a commercial vehicle, contact a Lake Charles law firm experienced in effective personal injury litigation.

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