Trucking Accidents Statistics
With thousands of commercial trucks traversing our state and federal highways each day, it is not surprising that accidents occur, often causing significant damage to property and serious injuries to other motorists and to truck operators. There are many factors that may contribute to a truck related wrongful death accident. Such accidents may be the result of the following:
- Maintenance Negligence: This occurs when a trucking company or driver fails to adequately maintain equipment and perform routine inspections. Without proper inspections, equipment can fall into disrepair and go unnoticed, causing dangerous situations on the highway.
- Overloading Cargo: May create an unstable load that is more prone to roll over accidents.
- Excessive Speed: Lessens a driver’s reaction time to respond to road hazards and other drivers.
- Reckless and Aggressive Driving: While operating a large truck and trailer is unsafe for the driver and other motorists based on the sheer size and mass of the rig.
- Equipment Malfunction: May cause the truck to become unstable, removing the integrity of its foundation and functionality.
- Driving Under the Influence of an Illegal Substance: Is highly illegal and responsible for the severe impairment of judgment and ability to safely operate machinery.
- Poor Driving Conditions such as a Snow and Ice: May cause large truck and trailer rigs to slide out of control, careening off of embankments or into other vehicles.
- Driver Fatigue: Creates a volatile situation when you combine drowsiness and nodding off at the wheel in a massive piece of machinery traveling at high speeds.
- Impaired Vision from Night Driving: Makes it difficult for drivers to recognize potential road hazards and conditions.
- Overloaded Trucks: Brake Failure: Makes it difficult or impossible to slow a heavy load safely, potentially resulting in a serious accident.
- Inexperienced Drivers: May result in a collision based on a new truck operator’s lack of exposure to driving hazards when a commercial company does not take the time to sufficiently train and educate them to uphold the highest safety measures on the road.
- Failure to Follow Posted Traffic Signage: Creates dangerous driving situations such as ignoring “one way” indications that may result in collisions with oncoming traffic.
- Insufficient Driver Training: May result in a collision based on a new truck operator’s lack of exposure to driving hazards when a commercial company does not take the time to sufficiently train and educate them to uphold the highest safety measures on the road.
- Defective or Damaged Equipment: May result in a malfunctioning of the truck and trailer, such as a tire blow out that can cause a truck to roll over based on it being rendered unstable.
- Trailer Hitch Damage: May cause trailer to become disconnected from the tractor cab pulling it, causing the trailer to act much like a missile, skidding and rolling out of control, endangering anything in its path.
- Insufficient Lighting: Missing, malfunctioning, or muddy taillights and non-functional emergency flashers can cause “under-ride” accidents wherein a passenger vehicle collides with a large truck resulting in the vehicle driving under the trailer. These types of accidents are often fatal as the vehicle is commonly sliced in half by the impact.
Federal and State Truck Accident Statistics
- Federal data from 2008 states that 11% of all motor vehicle fatalities involved large trucks weighing over 10,000 pounds.
- According to a 2008 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study, 11,674 fatalities occurred as a result of speeding-related collisions.
- Across the United States, 677 large truck occupants were killed in collisions in 2008.
- According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), every 16 minutes a person in the US is either injured or killed in an accident with a large truck.
- Over 140,000 people are injured in large truck-related accidents each year.
- At between 10,000 to 80,000 pounds, large trucks can weigh more than 30 times as much as a regular passenger vehicle.
- Traveling at a speed of 55 mph, a large truck will require 300 yards to come to a full and complete stop.
- Roughly 24% of large truck drivers involved in a fatal crash in 2007 had at least one prior speeding conviction.
For more information on truck related accident statistics and overall highway safety, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website at www.nhtsa.gov.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident, contact Dejban Law either electronically or by phone so that we can determine if you have a case and if we can represent you.