Trucking Accident Statistics
The trucking industry plays an instrumental role in transporting goods and essentials across different parts of the country. But it is well known that it is a dangerous industry marred by many accidents and injuries.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there were approximately 415,000 police-reported crashes involving passenger cars and large trucks in 2020. Unfortunately, 1 percent of these were fatal crashes (4,444), and 24 percent (101,000) resulted in injuries.
This article will explore the current state of truck accidents in the U.S., including statistics on fatal and recent accidents and the reasons for their increasing frequency.
Trucking-Related Accidents and Deaths
The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) released its most recent commercial truck accident and truck-related death statistics in 2020. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reported in May 2022 that 4,014 people died in large truck accidents in 2020 in the U.S.
The report further concluded that out of the 4014 deaths, 15% of the deaths were truck occupants, amounting to 608 deaths. Comparing these figures to the historic lowest figures for large truck accidents in 2009, it is evident that there was a 28 percent increase in truck accident deaths in 2020. There was also a 35 percent increase in the number of truck occupants’ deaths in the same period.
One shocking finding was that in collisions between large trucks and passenger vehicles, the passenger vehicle occupants accounted for 97 percent of the deaths. Therefore, the risk profile for occupants of small vehicles involved in truck and car accidents is significantly higher.
Which State Has the Most Traffic Fatalities?
According to the latest figures provided by the NHTSA, in 2020, Texas had the most fatalities, numbering 3,874, an increase from 3,619 in 2019.
California came a close second with 3,847 fatalities, up from 3,719 in 2019.
The third spot was taken by Florida, with 3,331 deaths, up from 3,185 in 2019.
What Are the Most Common Injuries Suffered in Truck Accidents?
Truck accidents often result in severe injuries to the drivers involved. Therefore, all drivers should try to prevent trucking injuries, obey the road rules, and uphold all safety protocols.
The following are some of the most common injuries suffered by truck drivers in large truck crashes:
Soft Tissue Injuries
If you have been injured as a truck driver, consider reading our truck driver personal injury quick tips.
It is vital for truck drivers of commercial vehicles and truck occupants injured in semi-truck accidents to seek medical attention and consult an experienced truck accident lawyer to understand their legal rights and options around their injury claims.
Why Are Truck Accidents Increasing?
There are several reasons why truck fatalities and accidents have been increasing. These include the following:
Increased road traffic leads to more opportunities for accidents. The growing number of trucking companies and the increasing demand for goods to be transported has resulted in more trucks on the road.
The pressure on truck drivers to meet tight delivery deadlines. This pressure can lead to reckless driving and fatigue, increasing the risk of accidents.
- The use of drugs or alcohol by truck drivers.
What Is the #1 Leading Cause of Vehicle Accidents in the U.S.?
In 2015, car accident statistics released by the NHTSA revealed that driver error accounted for 94 percent of all car accidents in the U.S. A large percentage of these errors were caused by reckless, distracted, or impaired driving as a result of alcohol or drug abuse. Unfortunately, the data was collected between 2005 and 2007 and may not provide an accurate analysis today.
In 2020, the NHTSA published that distracted driving was responsible for 3,142 deaths in the U.S. 2020.
Things You Can Do To Reduce Truck Accidents
Here are the top six steps that companies can implement to help reduce the number of truck accidents and make the roads safer for everyone.
1. Adequate Rest for Drivers
Fatigued drivers are more likely to cause accidents. Companies should ensure drivers have sufficient rest and follow the Hours of Service Regulations.
2. Drug and Alcohol Testing
Implementing drug and alcohol testing for drivers can help prevent accidents caused by substance abuse. Companies should have a clear policy and regularly test their drivers to ensure compliance.
3. Loading and Unloading Safety
Loading and unloading cargo safely is crucial to preventing accidents. Companies should provide training and resources to help drivers properly secure and manage their loads.
4. Promote Safe Driving Practices
Encourage truck drivers to follow traffic laws and regulations, maintain safe speeds, and avoid distractions while driving. Companies can provide training and resources to help drivers develop safe driving habits.
5. Regular Vehicle Maintenance
Regularly maintaining and inspecting trucks can help prevent accidents caused by equipment failure. Companies should ensure that all trucks are in good working order and that necessary repairs are made promptly.
6. Vehicle Technology
Utilizing technology, such as collision avoidance systems and electronic logging devices, can help prevent accidents and improve the overall safety of the trucking industry. Companies should consider investing in these technologies to enhance the safety of their operations.
Been in a Truck Accident?
Consider hiring a truck accident attorney if you were involved in a truck accident and have suffered injuries or damages. They can assist you in navigating the complex legal process and ensure that your rights are protected. Some of the benefits of using a truck accident attorney have been enumerated below:
Experience in Truck Accident Cases
Truck accident cases differ from regular car accident cases and require different skills and knowledge. An experienced attorney deeply understands trucking regulations and industry practices, which can be crucial in securing a favorable outcome for your case.
Experience With Insurance Companies
Insurance companies focus on protecting their bottom line and may only sometimes act in your best interests. An experienced truck accident lawyer has dealt with insurance companies before and knows how to negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf.
Representation in Court
If your case goes to court, they can represent you and make a strong argument. They can also gather evidence, build a compelling case, and cross-examine witnesses to help prove your case.
Access to Resources
They have access to a wide range of resources, including professionals in accident reconstruction, medical treatments, and vehicle maintenance, which can be critical to building a solid case.
Help With Medical Bills and Lost Wages
A truck accident can result in significant medical bills and lost wages. A truck accident lawyer can help you secure compensation for these costs.
Do You Need Assistance After Being in an Accident?
Unfortunately, crashes happen and often when you least expect them. If you have been involved in a car or a truck crash, consider consulting with our skilled and experienced truck driver accident lawyers.
We can help to increase your chances of receiving fair compensation for serious injuries and protect your rights throughout the legal process. Let us assess your case in a free consultation and fight for your cause. Call us today!