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Researchers Report Trucks Cause a Lot of Accidents

Update Date: Dec 06, 2013 12:10 PM EST

Vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of death. In a new report, researchers focused on one particular vehicle, the truck. The researchers found that trucks are responsible for a lot of accidents and deaths per year. The researchers also stated that truck accidents negatively affect productivity, property and personal injury.

For this study, the researchers examined data from a Tennessee sample. The data involved 1,134 truck crashes over the time span of five years. 101 of them involved single-vehicles whereas the majority of them, 1,033 were multi-vehicle incidents. The researchers categorized the severity of the crashes into four groups, which were couched property damage only, non-incapacitating injury, incapacitating injury and fatal. The factors that affected the crash were categorized based on characteristics, which included traffic, driver conditions, speed, environment, location and more.

The researchers found that annually, trucks cause around 4,500 deaths within the U.S. Even though trucks only make up around eight percent of highway traffic in this country, they are involved with around 11 percent of all fatal road crashes. The researchers found that one of the major contributors to truck crashes was the percentage volume of the trucks. The team reported that even if traffic was low, a higher percentage volume increased risk of fatal accident. The other significant factor that contributed to fatal accidents was speed. Once trucks reached over 45 miles per hour, risk of a fatal crash was doubled.

Aside from these two major factors, other variables that affected crash risk included gender, with males getting in more accidents, weather and type of vehicle. The researchers found that male drivers were more likely to speed, become aggressive, or drive while impaired due to fatigue, alcohol or substance use. Being impaired alone increased the risk of accident by seven times. Weather was the only environmental factor that appeared to be tied to accident risk. The findings suggest that more needs to be done to ensure the safety of truck drivers and others on the road.

The study was published in the International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion

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