In January of 2019, a stay in a hotel room in Atlanta took a dangerous turn for a woman when a tractor-trailer left a nearby roadway, hit a parked limousine and then partially went through the wall of the hotel. The commercial truck driver then fled the scene on foot but was later arrested, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. The woman in the hotel room where the truck went through was uninjured. However, the situation illustrates the power of big trucks to cause big damages when they are involved in an accident. Read on for more statistics about truck accidents.
How Common Are Big-Rig Accidents?
- In 2016, accidents involving large commercial trucks or buses claimed the lives of 4,440 people across the nation and caused injuries to approximately 119,000, according to a report from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
- In the same year in Gwinnett County, there were 7 fatalities caused by accidents involving large trucks, the U.S. Department of Transportation noted. The following year, in 2017, the county saw 8 fatalities in commercial truck accidents. The 2017 figure equates to .87 truck accident fatalities per 100,000 population.
- Georgia counties that had more truck accident fatalities than Gwinnett in 2017 include Bibb (10) and Fulton (20). Eight truck accident fatalities took place in Cobb and Jackson Counties.
- The most recent data posted by the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety reveals that there were 182 fatal accidents involving at least one large truck in the state in 2015.
What Are the Main Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents?
According to information from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the following issues are the main causes of commercial truck accidents:
- Truck braking capability: Trucks require 20 to 40 percent more distance to come to a safe stop than smaller vehicles and the amount of space increases if roads are wet or if the brakes are poorly maintained.
- Fatigue: Truck drivers are required to comply with hours of service regulations to prevent them from driving too long without resting. However, research indicates that many drivers violate these regulations.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration offered additional reasons for large truck accidents, including:
- Loss of vehicle control due to speeding or a cargo shift within the truck.
- Colliding into the rear-end of another vehicle traveling in the same lane as the truck.
- 12 percent of large truck crashes involve a non-performance error such as a driver falling asleep or having a physical health problem such as a heart attack or seizure.
- 28 percent of large truck accidents are caused by distracted driving.
- Unfamiliarity with the roadway.
- Over-the-counter drug use that impairs driving.
- A traffic flow interruption such as congestion or a previous crash.
Injury and Fatality Statistics from Truck Accidents
- In 2017, 17 percent of the deaths caused by the nation’s truck accidents were the truck drivers themselves, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported—68 percent of the fatalities were the occupants of passenger vehicles; 14 percent were pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists.
- The number of people who died in trucking accidents in 2017 was 30 percent higher than it was in 2009.
- 97 percent of vehicle occupants killed in two-vehicle accidents involving big trucks and passenger cars were the occupants of the passenger cars.
- 11 percent of all fatal motor vehicle crash deaths in 2017 involved a large truck.
- 74 percent of the fatal crashes involving large trucks involved a tractor-trailer, and 25 percent involved a single-unit truck. Some crashes involved both a tractor trailer and a single unit truck.
- 66 percent of the occupants of a large truck who were killed in multiple-vehicle crashes died in a collision with another large truck.
- 12 percent of all passenger vehicle occupant deaths and 22 percent of all passenger vehicle occupant deaths in multiple-vehicle crashes occurred in crashes that involved a large truck.
- 52 percent of the deaths in large truck crashes in 2017 took place on major roads other than interstates or freeways, while 32 percent took place on interstates or freeways and 15 percent occurred on minor roads.
- Nearly half of all large truck crashes occur between the hours of 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., while 32 percent occur during the hours between 6 p.m. and midnight.
- 16 percent of deaths involving large trucks occurred on Saturday or Sunday, as compared with 35 percent of crash deaths not involving large trucks.
- 48 percent of the large truck occupants who died in crashes in 2017 were involved in crashes where their truck rolled over. This is slightly higher than the number of occupants of SUVs and pickup trucks who died in rollover accidents.
- 31 percent of passenger vehicle occupants who were killed in large truck crashes were in vehicles that were struck head-on by the truck, and 25 percent were involved in crashes where the truck struck the side of their vehicle.
- Single vehicle crashes make up 15 percent of all injury crashes involving large trucks.
- 88 percent of all large truck injury crashes occur during the daytime hours on weekdays.
- 30 percent of construction work zone fatal crashes and 12 percent of construction work zone injury crashes involve a large truck.
- 87,000 large trucks were involved in injury crashes in 2015, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported. This equates to 779 of every 100,000 large trucks registered in the U.S.
- Only 2 percent of truck drivers involved in fatal or injury crashes in 2015 had alcohol in their systems at the time of the crash.
- More than 20 percent of the truck drivers involved in fatal accidents have been involved in accidents before, and 22 percent had a previous speeding conviction.
Call Our Truck Injury Lawyers if a Truck Crash Injured You
If you were injured or have lost a loved one due to an accident in Gwinnett County involving a large truck, you may be eligible for compensation through a personal injury or wrongful death claim. An experienced truck accident attorney from Brauns Law can help you understand the legal options that are available to you. Contact us online or by calling (404) 418-8244 to schedule your free case evaluation.