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We all know that auto accidents happen at alarming rates. But just how frequently they happen may come as a shock to many readers. Truck accidents in particular occur far more often than most people realize.
What makes truck accidents more alarming is the catastrophic nature due to the size and weight of large trucks. These accidents often cause serious injuries and deaths – primarily to individuals in smaller passenger vehicles. Large trucks weigh up to 30 times more than passenger cars. During a collision, smaller vehicles simply cannot stand up to the weight and force of a truck.
Truck Accident Statistics
So, just how often do truck accidents occur? Take a look at these truck accident statistics compiled from the Hiram truck accident lawyer at The Embry Law Firm. The most recent data available is from 2019.
Data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) data, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) shows the following:
- In 2019, 5,237 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal accidents.
- Truck accidents accounted for 4,119 fatalities.
- 97% of individuals killed in truck accidents were occupants of smaller vehicles. That accounts for more than 2,100 deaths.
- 15% of individuals killed in truck accidents were pedestrians, motorcyclists, or bicyclists.
- 3% of individuals killed in truck accidents were truck occupants.
- The number of truck occupants killed in truck accidents was 51% higher in 2019 than in 2009.
- Between 2005 and 2009, there was a 34% decrease in the number of fatal truck accidents.
- In fatal accidents, only 48% of truck drivers were using seat belts. This is similar to the 50% of passenger vehicle occupants killed in truck accidents.
- Between 2009 and 2019, fatal truck accidents increased by 47%.
- In 2019, truck accidents caused more than 119,000 injuries.
- The number of truck accidents causing property damage remains constant at 414,000 per year.
As you can see, the statistics are alarming at best. Truck accidents occur frequently and claim the lives of thousands of people each year.
Where Do Truck Accidents Happen?
Truck accidents happen on all types of roadways. Of course, there are some roadways where large trucks are not allowed, but generally, truck accidents happen on major roadways and interstates. The IIHS breaks down where accidents happen as the following:
- Interstates and Freeways: 34%
- Major Roadways: 51%
- Minor Roadways: 15%
When Do Truck Accidents Happen?
There are always extenuating circumstances and situations that cause accidents that are truly that – accidents. However, there are also trends in truck accidents that raise concerns about issues like driver fatigue.
For example, truck accidents most often occur at night, with 48% of accidents occurring between 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Most fatal truck accidents also happen on weekends (i.e. Saturday and Sunday).
What Are The Causes Of Truck Accidents
There are numerous factors that may contribute to truck accidents. The most common cause of auto accidents, in general, is driver error. However, the details on those errors or dangerous behaviors may be a bit of a surprise.
For example, despite the common belief that truck drivers drink and drive, only 3% of truck drivers killed in accidents in 2019 had a blood alcohol content level (BAC) of more than 0.08%, which is the legal limit. In contrast, 28% of passenger car drivers killed in accidents in 2019 had a BAC higher than the legal limit.
The main contributors to truck accidents are:
- Driver fatigue
- Distracted driving
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Inadequate maintenance
- Inadequate training
Have Questions About A Truck Accident?
Now that we have discussed just how common truck accidents are, the next step is for victims to get help. Injured victims and their loved ones often have many questions. What are my rights? Can I sue the truck driver? Who is responsible for my medical bills? How can I get justice for my loved one? The best way to get answers is to contact a truck accident lawyer in your state.