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How truckers can curb rise in truck crash fatalities

In Pennsylvania and across the U.S., more and more fatal crashes involve large trucks. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reported that the percentage of fatal crashes involving one or more large trucks went up each year from 2015 to 2017. The same period saw an increase in large truck occupant fatalities. From 2016 to 2017, there was a rise in fatal large truck and/or bus crashes.

The years 2015, 2016 and 2017 also experienced a rise in fatal large truck crashes in work zones. Whereas in 2015 the percentage of such crashes was 26.8 percent, in 2017, it was 30.4 percent. Truckers may be interested to know about the annual National Work Zone Awareness Week, which is to be held April 8-12, 2019.

Awareness is key. Since their trucks give them a high visual horizon, truckers should let other drivers know ahead of time if they are approaching slowed or stopped traffic (by turning on their flashers) or if they will merge into the open lane (by using the turn signal).

Before heading out, truckers should also adjust their seat, mirror and radio. This will reduce the likelihood of them reaching out to these later and becoming distracted. Truckers should remember that federal law prohibits all commercial truck drivers from holding their phones to make a call.

In the event that a truck accident is caused by the negligence of the trucker, those who are injured may be able to file a claim against the trucking company and seek to be reimbursed for their losses. Those losses could include past and future medical bills, lost wages, vehicle damage, and pain and suffering. They might want a lawyer to act on their behalf either at the negotiation table or in the courtroom.

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