Statistics can clarify what we already believe or highlight facts and trends we may have had no idea existed. Semi-truck accident statistics are no exception. They are a jarring reminder that we share the road with vehicles capable of inflicting life-changing injuries in just a split-second.
Truck crash statistics show in particular the lethal differences between accidents involving cars and those involving commercial trucks, which can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. The weight, mass and often-dangerous cargo of a truck all contribute to make them the most dangerous road companions we have.
Fried Rogers Goldberg doesnâ€™t want you to become a statistic. Our truck accident lawyers have compiled the data and facts related to semi-truck accidents in hopes theyâ€™ll help you to avoid unsafe situations.
The Trucking Industry
Nearly 70% of Americaâ€™s resources are transported by trucks. These resources account for $671 billion worth of goods annually. The U.S. trucking industry is one of the largest in the world, and the sheer number of trucks helps to create a multitude of jobs as well.
Approximately 15.5 million trucks operate in the U.S., two million of which are tractor-trailers. Just about 8.9 million people are employed in truck-related jobs, with 3.5 million of them being drivers.
However, the large amount of trucks on the road, and the vast distances they operate across, make trucking hazards a daily risk for drivers across the nation. Knowing how, when and where trucking accidents happen could help you avoid being part of a crash that seriously injures you — or worse.
Truck Accident Trends
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the number of trucks involved in fatal crashes has actually decreased over the decade between 2003 and 2013, with the number dwindling from 4,721 in 2003 to 3,906 in 2013. Thatâ€™s more than 10 deaths every day.
However, the 3,906 fatalities in 2013 represent a rise in the number from the previous year, which had 3,825 trucking accident deaths.
Additionally, the number of large trucks involved in property damage increased by 5%, from 253,000 to 265,000.
Although illegal drug and alcohol use are common causes of auto crashes, a report by the U.S. Department of Transportation found that â€“ even combined â€“ these two factors only accounted for slightly over 3% of accidents specifically involving trucks.
- 26% caused by prescription drug use
- 23% caused by the driver traveling too fast for conditions
- 17% caused by over-the-counter drug use
- 13% caused by fatigue
- 3% caused by illegal drug use
- 8% caused by abuse of alcohol
Other factors contributed to 18% of trucking accidents.
Truck Accident Fatalities
The daunting size and mass of most trucks makes them much more likely than cars to cause fatalities in an accident. Truck accident statistics highlighting the factors behind most fatalities could be useful in helping you to avoid the situations in which fatal crashes are most common.
- 327,000 crashes were reported in 2013, and 3,541 of them involved at least one fatality
- 64% of fatal truck crashes occurred on rural roads, and 25% occurred on interstate highways
- 84% of fatal crashes occurred on weekdays
- 28% of fatal work zone crashes involved at least one truck
Vehicles Involved in Truck Accidents
Truck accident statistics from 2013 indicate that large trucks (trucks with a gross weight of more than 10,000 pounds) were involved in 3,906 fatal crashes, 73,000 crashes that caused injuries and 265,000 crashes that caused property damage of some kind.
Many trucks also carry hazardous cargo that makes accidents involving them even more dangerous. Hazardous materials were present on 4% of trucks in fatal crashes, and on 2% of trucks in non-fatal crashes. These materials were released from the truck in 12% of fatal and non-fatal crashes. Flammable liquids like gas and oil accounted for 76% of the releases in fatal crashes.
We canâ€™t urge you enough to take precautions around trucks on the road, as any crash involving trucks is one that may be much harder to walk away from â€“ for multiple reasons.
People Injured in Truck Accidents
Itâ€™s not uncommon for truck drivers to escape trucking accidents relatively unscathed while the passengers of the car they hit suffer catastrophic injuries. Worse, the number of people injured or killed in truck accidents normally exceeds the total number of accidents because more than one person is often occupying the other car involved in the crash.
- 7,000 large truck drivers
- 52,000 drivers of other motor vehicles in the crash
- 4,000 passengers of the truck
Of the 3,906 fatal truck crashes in 2013, just 691 operators of the truck were killed.
Digesting these truck crash statistics, it is clear that passengers of the other motor vehicle involved in the crash bear the brunt of the damage in most cases. While the size of most trucks makes this statistic unsurprising, it is still a jarring reminder of how dangerous truck crashes can be and the importance of taking steps to avoid them.
Contact an Attorney
No matter how careful you are, a reckless truck driver can cause a crash that devastates your family. The truck accident lawyers at Fried Rogers Goldberg have dedicated ourselves to helping victims of trucking accidents for more than 50 combined years, and we literally wrote the book on truck accident laws and litigation. Our legal team has consistently won verdicts and settled cases for millions of dollars, and we will fight to do the same for you.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a truck crash, call a Fried Rogers Goldberg trucking accident attorney at (404) 591-1800 for a consultation, at no cost and with no obligation.
Over 75% of our practice is devoted strictly to lawsuits on behalf of semi-truck accident victims. When youâ€™ve been in a truck crash, we are the ones you call.