20 Facts about Truck Accidents from a Truck Accident Attorney
Written by Cooper and Friedman on March 16, 2018
The trucking industry is an important part of the nation’s economy. The industry hauls trillions of dollars’ worth of goods back and forth across America. Trucks are involved in thousands of accidents each year due to the amount of time these drivers spend on the road. A truck accident can be caused by wide variety of incidents including:
- Driver errors such as speeding, improper maneuvering, and fatigue
- Issues with the truck itself like shifting cargo loads and vehicle failure
- Other drivers on the road who have abrupt stops or are encroaching on their lane
- Unexpected dangerous weather conditions, construction hazards, natural disasters, etc.
- As stated earlier, these incidents are common occurrences. However, this is not due to semi-trucks being hazards to the roads. It is due to a wide variety of circumstances that all culminate together.
Based on our experience as truck accident attorneys, we’ve compiled some of the most surprising facts we could find to educate you on the seriousness of truck accidents. We hope that by being aware of these facts, you’ll be able to stay safe on the road in the presence of truck drivers and long-haul vehicles.
20 Surprising Truck Accident Facts
- Around 15.5 million large commercial trucks are traveling on American highways at all hours.
- About 500,000 trucking accidents occur every year in the United States.
- While large commercial trucks are generally involved in 40% fewer accidents than other vehicles, big rig accidents have a higher rate of fatalities.
- Truck accidents claim 4,000 lives and injure some 95,000 motorists each year in the United States.
- 80% large truck crashes with fatalities occur during the week between Monday and Friday.
- 81% of all fatal commercial truck wrecks resulted in multi-vehicle crashes.
- 59% of fatal crashes involved vehicles with multiple passengers.
- Large commercial vehicle accidents cost $100 billion a year with fatal crashes costing $42 billion.
- Recognition programs and incentives are intended to increase driver performance, but often spur truck drivers to push themselves to drive (and stay awake) hours upon hours.
- Going 18 hours or more without sleep impairs a driver as much as having blood alcohol concentration of .08% — legally drunk.
- The risk of crashing doubles if the driver has been on the road for more than 8 hours.
- In cases where the truck is at fault, the leading cause of accidents is the driver being intoxicated or impaired due to fatigue.
- Truck drivers are held to different standards than non-commercial drivers. If their BAC is just .04 or greater, they are breaking the law.
- When fully loaded, the stopping distance of a big rig is 20-40% longer than that of a car. That percentage increases if the roads are wet.
- Out of all motor vehicle types, drivers of big rigs are more likely to get into multiple accidents.
- Big rigs have a high center of gravity which makes it easier for them to roll over.
- Tractors pulling two trailers (doubles) are 2 to 3 times as likely to be in crashes as smaller rigs.
- In 2015, 3,852 people died in large truck crashes — 69% were in passenger cars and other vehicles, 16% were in the trucks themselves, and 15% were motorcyclists, cyclists or pedestrians.
- That same year, 53% of the deaths resulting from large truck crashes occurred on major roads other than interstates and freeways. 30% happened on highways.
- If the trucking company that hired the driver is found to be negligent in any way, they can be held legally liable and made to compensate the victims of truck accidents.
Some of these facts are scary while others are somewhat comforting and they are all true.
It is important for your own safety to be aware of big rigs on the road. You will see them long before they see you, so stay aware when driving. Awareness is crucial in accident prevention and will help keep you safe. However, not all accidents are avoidable and, thankfully, there is legal help for those situations.
The truck accident attorneys at Cooper & Friedman Law Office have years of experience working with personal injury cases that result from truck accident. If you or someone you love needs a truck accident attorney in Kentucky or Southern Indiana contact us today for a free consultation. You can reach the Cooper & Friedman Law Office by calling 502-459-7555 or contacting us on our website by clicking here.