Commercial vehicle accidents on the upswing in 2017

Buses and large trucks are a common sight on Louisiana roads. However, if not handled with care, they can cause fatal accidents.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, in 2017 4,889 buses and large trucks were involved in deadly motor vehicle accidents. This represents a 9 percent uptick in such crashes from the previous year. In fact, while the number of deadly motor vehicle accidents went down 34 percent between 2005 and 2009, they went up 40 percent between 2009 and 2017.

From 2007 to 2017 on average, intercity buses were involved in 13 percent of fatal bus accidents. School buses were involved in 40 percent of fatal bus accidents and transit buses were involved in 35 percent of fatal bus accidents. The good news is that 2017 saw the fewest fatal school bus and intercity bus accidents since 1975. However, the number of large trucks involved in fatal motor vehicle accidents grew 10 percent from 2016 to 2017.

Commercial vehicle accidents have the propensity to be deadly due to the sheer size and weight of these vehicles. After all, a large truck or bus is simply no match for a standard automobile. Moreover, in addition to the occupants of the other vehicle, buses and other commercial vehicles often carry many passengers at once. This means that there are more people that could potentially be impacted by a fatal commercial vehicle accident.

For this reason, it is important that those who have lost loved ones in fatal commercial vehicle accidents understand their legal options. It may be possible in some circumstances to hold the at-fault driver, along with the driver's employer, responsible for the crash. However, determining liability in commercial vehicle accidents can be complicated. Fortunately, professionals are available to help people in such situations pursue the compensation they deserve.

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