If you’ve ever been in a crash with a large commercial truck, you know how terrifying it can be. All that mass – 10,000 pounds or more – coming straight at you. There is often nothing you can do but try to avoid the worst of it.
Unfortunately, large trucks (those with a gross vehicle weight rating of over 10,000 pounds) are involved in more than their fair share of accidents. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), large trucks account for only 4% of registered vehicles and 7% of all vehicle miles traveled, but they were involved in 10% of all fatal traffic crashes in 2019.
Worse, their share could be growing. At a time when most traffic crashes were on the decrease, large trucks got into more accidents year over year. In 2019, 5,005 large trucks were involved in fatal crashes. That was a 2% increase over 2018’s numbers and a 43% increase since 2010.
When it comes to crashes with injuries, the number is also on the rise. Trucks were involved in 5% more injury crashes in 2019 than in 2018.
Who is dying in truck crashes?
According to that same NHTSA data, the majority of those killed in truck crashes are people in the other vehicles (71%). Occupants of the truck were killed 18% of the time, and others, like pedestrians and bicyclists, were killed 11% of the time. Similar numbers occurred in injury crashes.
Yes, it’s much more likely that you will be injured or killed when a truck driver makes a mistake.
When and where do truck accidents happen most often?
You might assume those truck accidents occur most at night on an urban interstate – possibly in an active work zone. In fact, 56.65% of fatal truck crashes in 2019 occurred in rural areas. 74.91% occurred on non-interstate roads. The majority (64.12%) happen in the daytime and the vast majority (94.46%) occur outside of work zones.
It’s not usually the case that truck drivers encounter challenging conditions and get into accidents as a result. Trucking crashes occur in the most favorable circumstances most of the time.
Get help after your truck wreck
If you have been involved in a crash with a large truck, these statistics will offer little comfort. You are probably wondering how you will pay your bills and support your family if you can’t work after a wreck. Who will pay for the medical bills? How can you hold a dangerous or negligent trucker liable for what they did? Is the trucking company also at fault?
These questions have answers, and a compassionate, hard-working attorney can get them for you. The first step is a consultation about your specific situation. Then, your lawyer will dig in and find out exactly what happened and who was at fault.