About 500,000 truck accidents occur each year on U.S. roadways, resulting in nearly 5,000 fatalities and 130,000 injuries. Although about 70 percent of truck crashes end with only property damage, when physical harm is sustained, the results can be devastating and irreversible, particularly for drivers of smaller passenger vehicles.
In fact, the U.S. Department of Transportation reports that approximately 68 percent of all truck accident fatalities affect passenger vehicle occupants. Interestingly, however, drivers of passenger vehicles are responsible for causing three in every four trucking collisions.
Facts About Trucks
- Currently, about 15.5 million trucks are registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles
- Of these, nearly 13 percent are tractor-trailers, semis and big rigs
- There are roughly 3.5 million truck drivers and more than 500,000 trucking companies in the U.S.
- The trucking industry generates about $255.5 billion each year in revenues
- Trucks can be as much as 20 times heavier than passenger vehicles
- Due to their weigh, trucks traveling at 75 mph will need 100 more feet of stopping distance than cars traveling at the same speed
Causes of Trucking Collisions
Approximately 90 percent of all truck crashes are caused or intensified by mistakes that humans make. In most cases, however, a number of elements, in addition to human error, will play a role in causing a truck accident. Some of the most common causes of truck collisions include:
- Animals or debris in the road
- Bad weather and poor visibility, which can be caused by heavy snow, rains or winds
- Driver distraction
- Driver exhaustion
- Driver inexperience
- Driver intoxication
- Equipment failure
- Failure to obey traffic laws
- Unstable loads
- Poor road conditions
- Reckless driving
Fact: Truck Accidents Cause Serious Injuries
Because of the size of semi trucks, when they collide with other vehicles, the damage will most likely be catastrophic, especially if the truck is traveling at high speeds. Common injuries resulting from such collisions include:
- Broken, crushed bones
- Brain injuries
- Damage to the spinal cord
- Severe back and neck injuries
- Severe burns
For more facts about truck crashes in the U.S., contact our truck accident attorneys.