New Study Shows Car Drivers are Often Responsible for Fatal Truck AccidentsTrusted Content
Legally reviewed by:Erik Abrahamson, J.D. February 27, 2013
While much media attention goes to negligent truck drivers who cause fatal accidents, the truth is the drivers of passenger vehicles are responsible for the majority of these accidents.
According to a report from the American Trucking Associations’ passenger vehicle drivers are responsible for commercial truck accidents about 75 percent of the time.
The American Trucking Associations assessed reports from a variety of large-scale studies from major organizations and businesses associated with traffic safety. The study focused on over 8,300 fatal truck accidents, determining the fault of these accidents.
Due to the fact that commercial trucks are so much larger and more powerful, truck drivers were often the ones who live to tell their version of the event. The organization’s report recognized that some of their data may have been influenced by the only surviving person’s testimony.
However, when the analysts looked at fatal crashes in which only a passenger died, leaving the driver of the truck and passenger vehicle alive, they still found that passenger vehicle drivers were still responsible for the majority of cases. These types of crashes accounted for 15 percent of the total number of crashes. Passenger vehicle drivers were cited in 73 percent of these cases.
One of the studies that the American Trucking Associations considered found that passenger vehicle drivers were responsible for 91 percent of head-on collisions. They were also responsible for 91 percent of sideswipes that occurred in the opposite direction. Passenger vehicle drivers were additionally found to be responsible for 71 percent of rear-end crashes, according to the report. Another study found that passenger vehicle drivers were responsible for 85 percent of fatal truck crashes in 2007 and 2008 and for 81 percent of the crashes in 2009.
The American Trucking Associations also found that several factors resulted in higher likelihood of crashes. Some of these factors included speeding, following too closely, consumption of alcohol and traffic density.
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