Truck Accident Statistics [Infographic]

Truck accidents often result in devastating injuries and a higher number of deaths compared to a typical car crash due to their size and mass. An 18-wheeler can weigh up to 80,000 pounds – around 20 times larger than an average passenger vehicle, making it more difficult to maneuver or stop.

It’s easy to see how trucking accidents can lead to catastrophic injuries and deaths because of the vehicles’ sheer size and weight. Understanding the details surrounding these accidents might give truck drivers an idea of how to be more responsible and alert on the job.

In 2017, there were 4,102 people killed in large truck crashes. Of those 4,102 victims, 17 percent of the fatalities were either the truck driver or the passenger, 68 percent were occupants of cars and other passenger vehicles. The remaining 14 percent were pedestrians, bicyclists, or motorcyclists.

While the percentage of passenger vehicle occupant deaths in large truck crashes has steadily decreased since 1980, the number of fatal truck crashes had increased by 47 percent since 2009, when it was the lowest it had been since the collection of fatal crash data began in 1975.

In 2017, 52 percent of fatal truck accidents occurred on a major road, 32 percent occurred on interstates and freeways, and 15 percent on minor roads.

Most fatal car crashes occur during the weekends due to a high incidence of alcohol use. However, truck accidents are more common during the weekdays when cargo transportation is the highest. Of the fatal crashes involving trucks, 18 percent of deaths have occurred on Thursdays since Friday is crunch time for most drivers.

Trucks tend to travel at higher speeds midday than during heavy traffic hours when speed is impeded by heavy congestion. Accounting for 19 percent of deaths, 12 pm to 3 pm was the most common time of day when truck accidents occurred. 

Were you injured in a semi-truck accident? Here’s what to do after a commercial semi-truck accident that was not your fault

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