One reason a crash with a large truck may be more serious than another type of crash is that the sheer size and weight of the truck is so much larger than that of a passenger vehicle. Moreover, truck accidents are more common than you might expect, based on their representation on the road.
In 2018, trucks only made up 4% of all registered vehicles on America’s roadways, but they accounted for 9% of all vehicles involved in fatal crashes — and that doesn’t even include accidents with injuries.
The total number of fatal trucking crashes keeps increasing year after year, according to federal data analyzed by the National Safety Council. In 2018, for example, 1% more trucks were involved in fatal crashes than had been in 2017. That represented a 51% increase over 2009 numbers, however.
Trucking crashes are deadly to car drivers
As you might expect from the comparative size and mass of the vehicles, when a large truck is involved in a fatal accident the person most likely to die is the person outside of the truck. This is usually the person in the other vehicle (72% of the time), although it can also involve non-occupants of vehicles such as pedestrians and bicyclists.
The same thing carries through to accidents involving injuries; it is the occupant of the other vehicle most likely to be injured.
Trucking crashes don’t occur where and when you might expect
You might expect a truck accident to occur on an urban interstate highway when conditions are difficult. In reality, over 57% of fatal truck accidents occur in rural areas, and almost 75% occur on non-interstate roads.
As for difficult or dangerous conditions, surprisingly, fatal truck accidents more often occur in routine traffic. Almost 64% occur in the daytime and only 4.6% take place in highway work zones.
A trucking crash needs to be investigated
There can be many causes of serious and fatal truck crashes. Drivers may be careless, distracted, drunk or too tired. The trucks can be poorly maintained or subject to defects. Sometimes, trucking companies pressure drivers to exceed legal limits in an effort to get their deliveries done more quickly.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a crash with a truck, you need to find out what happened. A personal injury lawyer can investigate the cause of the accident and help you obtain compensation for all you have lost.