Trucking Accident Statistics

Trucking Accident Statistics

Driving comes with several inherent dangers. In our temperature-regulated, comfortable cars, blasting our favorite album, we often fail to realize the risks we face. And for truck drivers, these dangers are amplified. Take note of these truck driving statistics for a better understanding of how to keep safe whenever you hit the road.

Truck driving accident stats according to the latest report (2017) from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA):

  • While general traffic fatalities have decreased, big rig deaths have risen in recent years. In fact, truck accident deaths reached their highest level in nearly 30 years in 2017.
  • From 2016 to 2017, truck and bus accidents increased by nine percent, equating to 4,889. Similarly, fatalities increased by eight percent or 4,657.
  • Seventy-two percent of truck accidents resulted in fatalities making tractor-trailers the most dangerous vehicles on the road.
  • Four hundred seventy non-motorists and vehicle occupants, namely pedestrians and cyclists, were killed in truck-related accidents.
  • Fatal truck accidents often occur in rural areas- about 57 percent of the time.
  • Eighty-three percent of fatal crashes and 88 percent of non-fatal accidents take place on weekdays (Monday through Friday).
  • Most (91 percent) of fatal truck accidents only involve one fatality. And most often (82 percent of the time) it is not the truck driver who is killed.

Why are there so many truck accidents? 

With such alarming statistics, you may wonder why trucks are so prone to accidents. Most drivers are experienced, trustworthy, and competent professionals. However, the very nature of the job can pose a danger, increasing their chances of crashing. First, trucks are far heavier than the average passenger vehicle. They weigh in at an average of about 40 tons compared to a small car’s mere two and a half. This makes them exceptionally difficult to stop quickly. At 40 miles per hour, a standard vehicle requires about 300 feet to stop after applying the brakes. A truck, however, needs about 525 feet. So, in the case of sudden stops and unforeseen hazards, trucks are largely disadvantaged.

In addition to this setback, truck drivers face challenging deadlines and physical demands. With incentives to make destinations and rack up the miles, drivers are tempted to push their limits. And in doing so, they are often impaired by fatigue or prompted to speed. These actions significantly increase their chances for an accident.

So, to confront these issues and address rising fatality rates, we ought to carefully assess trucking safety standards. We should strive to eliminate things like speeding, distraction, fatigue, carelessness, and impaired driving to make our roads a safer place for everyone.

If you or a loved one has suffered in a truck-related accident, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at The Law Offices of William D. Shapiro. We are prepared to offer expert legal guidance and counsel in this particularly challenging time. Call on us today for assistance.

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