Understanding the Dangers of Large Trucks
In 2018, a total of 4,136 people lost their lives to truck accidents. The grand majority (67%) of these people were passenger vehicle occupants. On average, semi-trucks and other commercial vehicles weigh 20-30 times as much as passenger vehicles and take 20-40% farther to stop. Additionally, trucks are taller and have greater ground clearance, which often results in devastating underride accidents (in which the smaller vehicle slips underneath the larger one).
No matter who causes the accident, passenger vehicle occupants tend to bear the brunt of the consequences. Truck accident attorneys like Clark, Fountain, La Vista, Littky-Rubin & Whitman exist to right these wrongs.
How Common Are Truck Accidents?
Large truck crashes made up 11% of all motor vehicle crash deaths in 2018, and 74% of large truck crashes involve tractor-trailers or semi-trucks. While truck accidents are not more common than passenger vehicle collisions, they do cause a disproportionate amount of fatalities.
Where Do Truck Accidents Occur?
Most people encounter large trucks on the freeway, so that would seem like the most natural place for truck accidents to occur. Nevertheless, only 33% of fatal truck accidents in 2018 occurred on interstates and freeways. Surprisingly, 52% of these accidents took place on major roads other than interstates and freeways and 14% happened on minor roads.
While you should always exercise caution around large trucks, you may want to be extra careful on busy roads within your town.
When Do Truck Accidents Take Place?
Truck drivers usually drive for a living, so it only makes sense that 50% of large truck accidents occurred between 6 a.m. and 3 p.m. in 2018. Fewer deaths also occur on Saturdays and Sundays when the drivers are, presumably, off work.
The early morning hours may be especially dangerous because of drowsy driving. Sometimes, truck drivers push their biological limits (often at the behest of shipping companies) and cause serious accidents as a result.
How Can I Keep Myself Safe?
These statistics aren’t meant to scare you, but rather to alert you to the dangers of large trucks. When you drive near these vehicles, you can use our Safety Tips for Driving Around Large Trucks to mitigate your risk of a collision.
Unfortunately, nothing you do can control someone else’s actions, so the only way to truly keep yourself safe is to stay off the roads altogether. Still, this step is unrealistic for most people, and if you are harmed by the negligence of a truck driver or shipping company, our team at Clark, Fountain, La Vista, Littky-Rubin & Whitman can help.
We look forward to fighting for your rights.