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Study reveals "whys" and "whats" of commercial vehicle accidents

A three-year study focusing on the the reasons behind many of the tractor-trailer crashes in the country was recently published. It was a collaboration between an Arizona company and a digital information firm. According to the report, commercial vehicle accidents involving big rigs -- such as semis -- have accounted for an estimated 11,000 fatal wrecks between 2015 and 2017.

In that time period, an estimated 12,230 people were killed in these types of collisions. Commercial trucks haul approximately 70% of the goods in the nation. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were approximately 11,498,561 commercial trucks registered in the United States as of 2016. Statistics show that 9% of fatal traffic collisions in 2017 involved large trucks. Of the more than 4,657 large trucks involved in crashes, an estimated 69% of them involved combination vehicles, which are comprised of tractor-trailers, straight trucks with trailers and tractors hauling double trailers.

The most common cause of tractor-trailer crashes is the result of truckers failing to yield the right-of-way. The study also found that most crashes occur during weekdays in the mid-day hours, with the numbers peaking around 1 p.m. Furthermore, the study found that nearly 21% of truckers who were involved in fatal crashes had a previous conviction for speeding violations.

Over the past three years, the study listed the most deadly highways, with Interstate 10 found to be the most dangerous for commercial vehicle accidents. More than 33 states reported more than 100 occupants of other vehicles were killed in collisions involving large trucks. Due to the nature of these large vehicles, occupants of passenger cars are most at risk from these potentially fatal wrecks. Those who have suffered the loss of a loved one in an Arizona crash likely struggle to cope with the economic losses that are incurred through these wrecks. Families may seek recovery of these damages through the state's civil justice system.

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