Each year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration releases truck accident facts and statistics. The truck crash statistics show a significant difference between accidents involving cars and those involving commercial trucks. Commercial trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. The size, weight, and mass of the trucks and the cargo they carry make them the most lethal road companions.
It is estimated that there are 500,000 truck accidents per year in the USA. About 5000 of these accidents usually result in death. Basically, one in every eight auto accident fatalities involves a truck collision.
Over 70% of all resources utilized in the USA are usually transported by commercial trucks. The 70% translates to around $670 billion worth of goods. There is no denying the fact that the trucking industry has created millions of jobs for Americans.
About 20 million trucks are registered in the US and approximately 9 million people are employed in truck-related jobs. Of these employees, 4 million are employed as truck drivers. This means that there is quite a high number of tracks traversing long distances all across the country. This creates a daily hazard for drivers using the same roads.
According to data released by the National Highway Safety Administration, in 2017, fatalities from large truck crashes reached an all-time high in 29 years. Fatalities from large truck accidents in 2017 stood at 4,761. This is a 9% increase from 2016. 392 more lives were lost in 2017 than in 2016.
Of those who lost their lives, 1300 were truck drivers. The rest were the occupants of the other vehicles involved in the crash. 40% percent of the truck drivers who lost their lives were not wearing seatbelts which only emphasizes the importance of adhering to all the safety precautions while on the road.
What\’s worrying is the fact that even though there was an overall decline in the number of fatalities resulting from auto accidents, the number of fatalities from large truck crashes had increased significantly. According to the NTHSA, a large truck is any truck that has a gross vehicle weight rating of over 10,000 pounds. For data purposes, any truck above 10,000 pounds is classified as either a tractor-trailer or a straight truck.
Truck accidents often result in more severe injuries, a higher number of deaths and higher cost of damages compared to accidents involving cars. Despite the fact that the percentage of passenger vehicle occupant deaths has been decreasing steadily from 1980, the number of fatal truck accidents per year has increased by over 49% since 2009 when it was at its lowest. The collection of fatal crash data began in 1975. In 2009 the number of fatalities stood at 3,432, however, by 2015 the number had risen to over 4300.
In terms of numbers relating to injuries and property damage, over 300,000 truck accidents per year often result in property damage while 80,000 of the truck accidents cause injuries. 2009 also experienced the lowest number of injury crashes.
According to data provided by the NTHSA, the number of injuries resulting from truck accidents in 2009 was 60,000 which was a significant decrease from 89,000 in 2005. The number of injuries from truck accidents per year had decreased steadily from 2005 to 2009, however, according to the latest statistics that number had risen by 67 from 2009 to 2017.
Over 50% of all the truck accidents per year usually occur on major roads while 35% of the accidents occur on freeways and interstates and 15% occur on the minor roads. Fatigue due to the long distances covered by truck drivers and speeding due to time crunch are some of the main causes of truck accidents. Truck accidents that occur during weekends are often due to intoxication.