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Those who die in truck accidents are typically in other cars

In 2014, a total of 3,660 people were killed in accidents involving large trucks, like semi-trucks and box trucks. However, the vast majority of the fatalities did not come from the trucks themselves, but from people riding in other vehicles.

A mere 16 percent of those who died were occupants—drivers and passengers—in the trucks. Almost that many were motorcyclists, pedestrians and bicyclists, coming in with 15 percent. However, a full 68 percent were people who were driving or riding in other passenger vehicles.

When that data was recorded, truck accident deaths had massively increased. Between 2009 and 2014, in just a five-year period, the deaths went up by 16 percent.

There are many reasons that the death totals come out like this, starting with the weight of the trucks. A semi with a full load could be anywhere from 20 to 30 times heavier than the standard passenger car with which it collides. This means that a car can be utterly destroyed in a accident that may only do minor damage to the truck.

Another issue is ground clearance. A truck is far higher than a standard coupe or a sedan. When the two collide, this means that the car may be shoved under the truck with the force of the impact. This protects the truck driver, as the cab may not even be hit by the smaller vehicle, but it can be deadly for those in the car. The bulk of the truck then strikes the passenger cabin, rather than hitting the car's frame. Cars can also become trapped under trucks.

If you've lost a loved one in a truck accident in Illinois, you may be entitled to financial compensation.

Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, "Large trucks," accessed Feb. 26, 2016

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