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Trucking accident fatality rate increases in 2017

Truck accidents can be particularly frightening for drivers, pedestrians and others on the roads in Illinois. Because commercial trucks and tractor-trailers are so large, their size and weight present a serious threat. People in passenger cars and other smaller vehicles are far more likely to face severe injuries or death. While the overall trend in motor vehicle accident deaths has gone downward, fatalities in truck crashes have continued to rise.

In 2017, 37,133 people lost their lives in auto accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This marks an overall 1.8 percent decrease from 2016. However, even this positive news contained a disturbing footnote. Fatalities in large truck crashes rose by 9 percent to 4,761, an increase of 392 deaths during the same time period. This statistic tracks crashes involving trucks weighing over 10,000 pounds.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, many of these deaths involved crashes in which a vehicle weighing less than 26,000 pounds was involved. Some of these trucks fall outside the oversight purview of the FMCSA. In addition, the number of deaths in accidents involving trucks weighing between 10,000 and 14,000 pounds doubled between 2016 and 2017. In regard to large truck crashes involving multiple vehicles, there were 280 more people killed in 2017, marking an 8.8 percent increase.

Trucking accidents can lead to severe injuries and permanent disabilities. Someone who has been hurt due to a truck driver's negligent, dangerous or fatigued driving can work with a personal injury lawyer to seek compensation for their losses. Damages might include medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.

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