When trucks are involved in an accident, they can cause heavy damage to other people and vehicles because of their immense sizes and weights. Trucks greatly out-size and out-weigh other vehicles on the roadways, and this is what makes it difficult for trucks to turn or stop quickly to avoid crashes. Intending to educate the public about the dangers of truck collisions, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have worked together to compile statistics and warnings about truck accidents in the United States.
Semi and Tractor Trailer Accidents
With nearly 15.5 million trucks legally driving on U.S. roadways, approximately 13 percent are semis, 18-wheelers, and tractor trailers. Big rigs, another piece of this 13 percent, lead to 2.3 deaths and 60.5 injuries for every 100 million miles they drive on the country’s roadways. When semi trailers are involved in collisions, their size and weight cause at least one fatality in about 98 percent of the accidents. Some of these accidents incur multiple fatalities. Tractor trailer accidents involving at least one fatality cost American citizens more than $20 billion annually based on insurance claims for deaths or for the loss of quality of life.
Commercial Truck Accidents
Commercial truck accidents can result from a number of factors. For example, driver fatigue accounts for approximately 30 percent of all commercial truck accidents. However, almost 75 percent of crashes involving commercial trucks are actually caused by the drivers of the other passenger vehicles that are typically smaller than the commercial trucks. In about 90 percent of the accidents, human error by the truck drivers, other vehicle drivers, or pedestrians either causes or worsens the severity of the accidents. Because of these factors, commercial truck accidents cost an average of $59,150 each in insurance pay-outs.
Other Truck Accidents
Because 22 percent of truck accidents produce injuries, nearly 130,000 people are injured each year. In the accidents that do not result in death or injuries, approximately 70 percent incur only property damage. These accidents comprise the semis, big rigs, and tractor trailers, and they also include garbage trucks, fire trucks, and utility trucks. One of the most common types of trucks to crash is fire trucks due to the speed at which they travel to the sites of emergencies. There are almost 2,500 fire truck accidents annually, which result in an average of 21 fatalities a year. The majority of the injuries and deaths from fire truck collisions happen to the occupants of the other vehicles, much like heavy truck accidents.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, it is important that you speak to a truck accident attorney who is specially qualified and experienced in handling these specific types of cases. Most auto accident attorneys are unfamiliar with the situations and types of claims involved in truck collisions. A qualified attorney familiar with these and other truck accident statistics will assist you in gaining the best outcome for your case.