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What's to blame for log truck crashes?

In 2019, the International Journal of Forest Engineering published a study analyzing fatal log truck crashes between 2011 and 2015. The researchers working on the study obtained the crash data for the 383 log truck accidents during this period from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, a U.S.-government funded accident database. The data that the researchers uncovered is staggering.

Study authors determined that while there were 9,597 tractor-trailers involved in crashes involving fatalities between 2011 and 2015, only 3.4% involved logging trucks. Even still, the researchers found that there was a 41% increase in fatal log truck crashes in between 2011 and 2015. There were 33% more non-fatal log tractor-trailer accidents over these five years, a 14% increase over the overall large truck crash rate during this same period.

One of the factors that the researchers seemed to identify as a potential factor contributing to these crashes was the tractor-trailer age. The study's authors discovered that the average age of the log trucks involved in these fatal crashes was 13-years-old compared to 7.6 years for all other tractor-trailers.

The researchers also discovered that at least 21% of the fatal log tractor-trailer crashes involved a rollover compared to 12% of the large trucks with the same result.

Study authors ultimately concluded that the training that log truck drivers receive could focus more on teaching these truckers better defensive driving skills. The researchers determined that log truck drivers could benefit from being more aware of their surroundings, learning how to maintain their vehicles better and decrease their risk of rollovers.

If there's one thing that you hear a lot as a motorist, it's to make sure that your vehicle is roadworthy. Another thing that you hear is to be aware of your surroundings and adjust your speed and driving techniques to the road's condition. It would seem that log truck drivers aren't doing much of this based on their uptick in crashes in recent years.

A personal injury attorney could help you recover the compensation you're sure to need to cover medical bills and other expenses if a trucker's negligence resulted in you getting hurt here in Rochester or anywhere else in Michigan.

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