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Large trucks barreling down streets and highways can be a source of danger for other motorists. According to the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office, there were 5,836 large truck crashes in the state in 2018. These crashes had catastrophic consequences for many: 107 people killed, 228 suffering life-changing, incapacitating injuries and 709 with other obvious wounds.

Why do these crashes occur? The state’s data offers some insight.

Top contributing factors in large truck crashes

When state officials take down a crash report, they include contributing factors. These are driver behaviors or actions that played a role in the wreck.

The Highway Safety Office includes the most common contributing factors ascribed to large truck drivers in crashes. Atop the list is a category called “other improper act/movement,” which includes things such as failure to signal, improper lane use, improper backing, failure to secure a load, or fatigued driver. This factor was cited in 12.7% of recorded crashes. The top 10 contributing factors were:

  • Other improper act/movement – 12.7%
  • Changing lanes unsafely – 8.7%
  • Driving at an unsafe speed – 7.5%
  • Driver inattention – 7.2%
  • Following too closely – 5.3%
  • Improper turn – 5.2%
  • Failing to yield – 5.2%
  • Unsafe vehicle – 2.7%
  • Left of center – 1.6%
  • Failing to stop – 1.1%

Justice for injured crash victims

Simple errors such as those listed above can have devastating consequences for victims, who may suffer permanent or long-term injuries. These will likely come with expensive ongoing medical bills, plus the potential for lost wages – putting injured crash victims in a very difficult spot.

When seeking rightful compensation, it can mean taking on not just the driver, but also the trucking company and their insurance. There may be additional circumstances at play that are not immediately clear. It’s important to hold the right party accountable, so those who suffered harm can continue to move forward.