Semi-trucks are responsible for transporting necessary goods across the country. Without these trucks, many of us wouldn’t have access to the food, gasoline, and other products that we use each and every day.
Unfortunately, however, while these large trucks provide benefits to all, they also pose a danger to others traveling nearby on the roads. Truck accidents often result in catastrophic damage involving serious injuries and even fatalities.
But how often do these accidents occur? Why do they occur? Understanding these specifics can shed light on this issue, and may help you recover compensation if you have been injured in a truck crash caused by a truck driver. The following are some truck accident statistics you should know.
Truck Accident Statistics in the United States
In reality, truck accidents occur far more often than they should. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that in 2012 alone, 104,000 people were injured and 3,921 people were killed as a result of accidents involving large trucks.
Surprisingly enough, a total of 333,000 large trucks were involved in accidents in the same year. The data does show, however, that, on average, 10 people lost their lives each day throughout the country in large-truck crashes.
Furthermore, these numbers haven’t decreased over the last several years. The same report from the NHTSA highlights the fact that fatalities in 2012 resulting from large-truck crashes increased by four percent from the preceding year. Similarly, only 88,000 were injured in this type of crash in 2011, well below the amount in the following year.
Other Alarming Truck Accident Statistics
The NHTSA presents a host of other statistics that are both alarming and a cause for concern for motorists across the country. For one, the data shows that, in 2012, large trucks were more likely to be involved in fatal multiple-vehicle crashes, as opposed to fatal single-vehicle crashes, than other vehicles on the road. Specifically, over 80 percent of fatal truck crashes involve more than one vehicle. This means that most fatal accidents involving large trucks involved at least another vehicle, such as a passenger car.
Further, of those multiple-vehicle crashes, 46 percent involved a truck and other cars moving straight – in other words, the most basic type of driving – at the time of the accident. Meanwhile, nine percent involved another vehicle turning, and 12 percent involved one of the vehicles (truck or another vehicle involved in the fatal wreck) negotiating a curve.
Factors That May Affect Truck Accidents
In addition to data on the incidence and severity of truck accidents, the NHTSA has also compiled information on the truck drivers themselves, as well as actions and patterns that could have contributed to a crash.
Two percent of truck drivers involved in crashes in 2012 had a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher. Although this number is significantly lower than that for passenger vehicle drivers (23 percent of such drivers involved in fatal wrecks had a BAC of .08 or higher), it still poses a problem any time a commercial driver drinks alcohol and then gets behind the wheel of such a large vehicle.
Additionally, 8.2 percent of large truck drivers involved in fatal crashes had a previous driver’s license suspension, and a total of 18 percent of truck drivers involved in fatal wrecks had at least one prior speeding conviction.
The Consequences of Truck Accidents
All motor vehicle accidents can be truly devastating. Truck accidents, however, may carry a higher risk because of the sheer size of the vehicle involved compared to other, smaller vehicles on the road. Parties to a truck accident may experience catastrophic injuries, which could result in massive medical bills and even lifelong disabilities. Of course, a truck accident could also lead to loss of life in the most tragic cases.
If you have the misfortune of being in a truck accident, or lose a loved one in a wreck, speak with an accident attorney immediately. The Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys at Chalik & Chalik will help you file a timely accident claim, or, should you choose to pursue a personal injury suit against the truck driver or trucking company, will ensure that you begin within the four-year statute of limitations as provided under Florida law. Don’t wait any longer to seek out help. Call us today at 855-529-0269.