Also referred to as 18-wheelers, semi-trailers and big rigs, tractor trailers are large trucks that typically haul heavy cargo loads throughout the U.S. to transport a variety of goods. Of the 15.5 million trucks operating in the U.S., approximately 13 percent (2 million) are tractor trailer trucks. Currently, the U.S. economy relies on these big rigs to transport about 70 percent of all freight hauled in the nation, which accounts for roughly $671 billion in goods.
Despite this crucial role in the transportation, commercial and consumer industries, however, tractor trucks can be extremely dangerous on the roadways, as their heavy weight and large size can worsen even the most common traffic accidents.
In fact, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) reports that 98 percent of all semi truck accidents cause the deaths of at least one individual in related passenger cars.
Causes of Semi Tractor Trailer Accidents
Big rig accidents can occur as a result of:
- debris, animals or broken down cars in the road
- driver fatigue and/or intoxication
- equipment failure or defects (which can affect the brakes, steering, etc.)
- improperly attached loads
- lack of driver training and/or experience
- poor road and/or weather conditions
- reckless driving and/or failing to follow traffic laws
The heavier a truck is, as well as the faster it is going, the more severe a resulting accident will likely be.
Tractor Trailer Accident Statistics
- There are more than 3.5 million truck drivers in the U.S. - 11 percent of which are independent truckers
- There are about 360,000 truck companies in the U.S.
- The roughly 500,000 truck accidents that occur each year in the U.S. cause about 5,000 deaths
- Drivers of other passenger cars are responsible for causing more than 75 percent of all truck accidents
- The most fatal truck accidents occur in Texas (401), Florida (351) and California (346)
- While 78 percent of all truck accidents occur on weekdays, about 68 percent take place in rural areas, and 66 percent happen during the day
- Currently, motor vehicle accidents (including truck and car accidents) cost around $4,900 per second
- By 2025, researchers estimate that motor vehicle accidents will cost more than $450 billion
Tractor Trailer Accident Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been injured in a tractor trailer accident, or if your loved one has been killed in a semi truck accident, and you would like to learn about your legal rights, contact us to consult with an experienced tractor trailer accident attorney. You may be eligible for compensation for your medical bills, ongoing treatment costs, lost wages and pain and suffering. We will evaluate the details of your specific accident to determine the best way to proceed.