More and more trucks are joining the fleets that traverse our nation’s highways.
This table provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation shows that for 2011 (the latest year for which statistics are available), over 29 million trailers and semi-trailers were registered for use on the nation’s highways. That number is up from approximately 25.5 million in 2010 and 25.2 million in 2009.
Correspondingly, this table of Commercial Motor Vehicle Facts shows the increase in large motor vehicle traffic crashes, injuries and fatalities. To sum up the pertinent facts of the chart, from the years 2009 to 2011:
- The number of large trucks and buses involved in injury-related accidents increased from 60,000, to 67,000, to 73,000.
- The number of large trucks and buses involved in fatal accidents increased from 3,193, to 3,512, to 3,568.
- The number of victims injured in crashes involving large trucks and buses increased from 93,000, to 106,000, to 112,000.
- The number of victims killed in crashes involving large trucks and buses increased from 3,619, to 3,957, to 4,018.
- The estimated cost of commercial vehicle crashes involving injuries increased from $27 billion, to $30 billion, to $32 billion (in 2012 dollars).
- The estimated cost of commercial vehicle crashes involving fatalities increased from $34 billion, to $38 billion, to $39 billion (in 2012 dollars).
The trend is clear: the more large vehicles on the highways, the more accidents and the greater the costs.
But Why Do They Happen?
What are the primary causes of accidents involving large trucks and semi-trailers? Researchers differ, but these factors are commonly cited:
- Truck driver fatigue
- Speeding and aggressive driving
- Excessive truck/trailer loads
- Alcohol/drug impairment
- Improper training of truck drivers
- Equipment failure or lack of truck maintenance
- Driver error or distraction
If you or someone you know has been the victim in an accident involving an 18-wheeler, you need legal representation to secure the compensation due you. The Truck Accident Attorneys are leaders in the field of litigation involving large vehicles, and it makes up the bulk of our practice.