Truck Stats: How Common Are Big Truck Accidents?

Did you know the world’s most isolated tree, 31 miles away from the nearest tree, in the middle of the Tenere Desert in Africa was run into by a drunk truck driver in 1973?

Don’t be like this guy.

Unless he was aiming for it, the statistical odds of hitting that lone tree are far less than getting into an accident on the highway. But just how common are big truck accidents?

With proper training and regular maintenance the odds of getting in an accident decline. So read on to learn some stats and facts about accidents in the world of big-rigs.

How Many Truck Accidents Are There Each Year?

There are nearly 2 million semi-trucks in operation in the United States. As a trucker, you know very well that semis travel the roads at all hours of the day, in all weather conditions. Odds are they all don’t make it to their destination unscathed.

There are about 500,000 big truck accidents reported each year which accounts for about 2.4% of all auto accidents. Out of those 500,000 annual accidents, approximately 120,000 results in injury, with 5000 of those resulting in death. And 98% of the time it is the other motor vehicle operator involved in the accident that suffers injury.

To put all that into perspective, there is nearly one truck accident every minute with an average of nearly 14 deaths per day in the United States alone.

What Are the Common Causes of Big Truck Accidents?

One might think that most big truck accidents occur in cities where the roads are congested and traffic is constant. But 68% of all truck accidents actually happen in rural areas.

Truck accidents occur for a number of reasons with truck failure and speeding being some of the leading causes. About 30% of truck accidents occur due to brake failure, where the truck is unable to stop due to an issue with the braking system.

Roughly 23% of accidents occur due to the driver going too fast for conditions.

Other leading causes of truck accidents include the driver being unfamiliar with the road, over the counter drug use, lack of attention, driver fatigue, and pressure from the job.

Only a small percentage of accidents occur due to cargo shifting and an even smaller percentage occurs due to alcohol or illegal drug use.

Common Truck Accident Injuries

In big truck accidents, it’s more common for injury to occur to the drivers of other smaller vehicles involved, but truck drivers do suffer injury as well. Some common injuries from truck accidents include back and neck injuries, brain trauma, broken bones, severe burns, paralysis, and death.

Most people involved in truck accidents call a lawyer, as they can often receive a settlement to cover their medical bills and damages. Trucking companies have large insurance policies for this reason.

Big Truck Accident Stats at a Glance

Each day hundreds of thousands of trucks venture out onto the road to get the job done and test their fate. Of course, big truck accidents can be reduced by adequate driver training, proper truck maintenance, a well-rested and attentive driver, and appropriate driving for weather conditions. While all accidents cannot be avoided, taking measures to reduce the likelihood of an accident is possible.

And if you found this article helpful, check out the auto section of our blog for more relevant information.