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Trucking accident fatalities increase despite safer highways

At the end of last month, new data from the U.S. Transportation Department showed that while motor vehicle accident fatalities were reduced overall in 2013, fatalities involving large trucks such as semis and tractor trailers increased.

Officials said there were 3,964 people killed in accidents involving large trucks in 2013, including truck occupants, occupants of other vehicles and pedestrians. This was a 0.5 percent increase compared to 2012. At the same time, fatalities involving all types of vehicles declined by 3.1 percent, officials said.

Overall, officials said highway safety on U.S. roads is improving, but additional safety measures are obviously still needed to help curb accidents involving large trucks. This is the fourth straight year that fatalities involving semi trucks and tractor trailers have been on the rise.

The deputy administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said new federal regulations requiring stability-control technology in large trucks to help prevent rollovers may help address the problem. He added that tougher standards for truck underride guards could also make a difference.

However, after the deputy administrator stated that drowsy truck drivers are a major cause of accidents involving tractor trailers, regulators pointed out that Congress recently suspended regulations aimed at insuring truck drivers get enough rest on the road.  

Until both lawmakers and federal regulators take a firm stand against trucking accidents, they will continue to be a problem on the roads in Connecticut and elsewhere.

Following a trucking accident, a family can be left physically, emotionally and financially devastated. Injuries resulting from trucking accidents are often catastrophic, if not fatal. Victims need a fierce supporter to stand up to the trucking company's insurance provider and advocate on their behalf.

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