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Truck Accident Statistics

by | Jan 10, 2020 | Truck Accidents

Truck accidents are often the most dangerous, destructive, and potentially fatal crashes on the roads. Why? Trucks are up to 30 percent heavier than most passenger vehicles, and they’re also unwieldy. Braking time is longer than a car’s and only worsened by heavy loads or slick surfaces. Add to that the chance of driver error from fatigued truckers who’ve spent hours behind the wheel.

Because of these factors and more, truck accident statistics can be hard to stomach. As truck accident lawyers, we know that’s the case. But by better understanding the dangers of truck accidents, you may come away feeling like a more confident, better-informed driver. The following numbers come from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which analyzes trends in data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System.

Of all 2018 crash deaths, 11 percent involved large trucks. It’s worth remembering that while large truck accidents are often more serious, large trucks still make up a lower volume of vehicles on the road than cars and passenger trucks.

Truck accidents result in thousands of fatalities each year. In 2018, the most recent year on record, 4,136 people died in large truck crashes. Of these, most were passenger vehicle occupants (67 percent). Pedestrians, bicyclists, or motorcyclists made up another 15 percent. Only 16 percent were truck occupants, due in part to the larger vehicle size and the protection it offers.

Occupants of passenger cars are more at risk. In fatal crashes involving a truck and a passenger vehicle, occupants of the passenger vehicle were killed 96 percent of the time.

In fatal two-vehicle crashes involving large trucks, head-on crashes are the most dangerous. However, side strikes and rear-end accidents are also both extremely dangerous.

Large truck deaths are rising. In 2009, large truck crash deaths dipped to an all-time low since data collection began. Unfortunately, fatalities have risen 31 percent since then.

The highways aren’t always the deadliest place for truck accidents. While 33 percent of fatal crashes involving trucks occurred on highways or interstates, a full 52 percent happened on major roads.

Morning to early afternoon is the most dangerous time. While one might typically assume nighttime driving is the most dangerous, 50 percent of deaths in large truck crashes occur between 6 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Truck accident statistics are disturbing. But there are steps you can take to drive safely when you’re on the road with large trucks. Most importantly, you’ll want to stay out of what the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration calls the “no zones.” These are a truck’s blind spots 20 feet in front, 30 feet behind, one lane to the left, and two lanes to the right. If you avoid these areas, never tailgate or cut off a truck, and make sure you can see the driver in the mirror before passing, you help limit your chances of being involved in an accident.

Georgia Car Accident Lawyers

If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, you need a South Georgia injury lawyer. The personal injury lawyers in South Georgia at Hudson King are here to help. Contact us today at 229-396-5845 for a free consultation.

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