Oregon’s scenic, winding roads provide a beautiful commute. However, they can also prove dangerous–especially if you are sharing them with commercial trucks. Commercial trucks, even when driven by responsible truckers, can cause catastrophic damage to other vehicles in an accident. Although fatal truck accidents are rare, a study shows that truck-related deaths have increased dramatically over the past decade.

An alarming trend for truckers and passengers

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has released its most recent data regarding truck accidents. According to the IIHS’s research, fatalities caused by truck accidents are on the rise. In 2009, the point when this statistic lowest, 3,147 people died in crashes involving large trucks. In 2017, however, the number was 4,102–an increase of 30 percent.

In commercial truck accidents, most fatalities are the occupants of passenger vehicles, since trucks can weigh up to 30 times as much as passenger cars. The percentage of passenger-vehicle deaths decreased from 71 percent in 2009 to 68 percent in 2017.

What causes tracking accidents?

The study did not provide an explanation for the increase in fatalities. Numerous factors can contribute to trucking accidents, including:

  • Tractor-trailers’ slower braking capability
  • The difficulty of maneuvering large trucks
  • Sleep deprivation of truck drivers
  • Distraction by navigation systems or cell phones
  • Employers pushing truck drivers to work long hours
  • Truckers violating safety regulations
  • Improperly or inadequately trained truck drivers

What to do in a truck accident

Even the safest driver cannot always avoid accidents. If you are involved in an accident with a commercial truck, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention. Remember, some injuries are not always apparent but take months to appear. Then, get the contact information of the other party and any witnesses. Do not immediately speak to an insurance company; consider your legal options, as you may wish to obtain monetary compensation for your damages.