Truck Accident Statistics
Trucking accidents or those accidents involving heavy commercial vehicles and large trucks can be some of the most serious and deadly accidents. A large truck is defined as any vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 10,000 pounds. An eighteen-wheeler can weigh up to 80,000 pounds which is often twenty-five to thirty times the weight of most passenger vehicles. Large trucks are also a lot taller and have greater ground clearance than passenger vehicles. These significant differences between large trucks and smaller automobiles leave people travelling in smaller automobiles vulnerable to serious accidents with trucks.
Truck Accident Characteristics
The most recent statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicate that approximately 4,000 people are killed each year in accidents involving large trucks and another 95,000 people are injured. Of the people who were killed in large truck accidents, seventy-one percent were occupants of the other vehicles, seventeen percent were occupants of large trucks, and eleven percent were other non-occupants, such as pedestrians or motorcyclists. Large trucks are also more likely than passenger vehicles to be involved in fatal multiple-vehicle crashes rather than fatal single vehicle crashes. Eighty percent of deadly accidents that involve large trucks are multiple-vehicle accidents, compared to fifty-eight percent for deadly accidents involving passenger vehicles.
Where And When Do Large Truck Accidents Occur?
The NHTSA also recently found that the majority of the fatal accidents involving large trucks occurred on weekdays. Moreover, of those weekday large truck fatal accidents, seventy-three percent occurred during the daytime hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Sixty percent of fatalities in accidents involving large trucks occurred on major roads other than interstates and freeways, thirty percent occurred on interstates and freeways, and ten percent occurred on minor roads. Sixty-four percent of those fatal accidents involving large trucks happened in rural areas.
What Are Common Causes of Truck Accidents?
The causes of these tragic trucking accidents vary. The braking capability of a large truck can be a factor in these accidents. Fully loaded tractor-trailers can take twenty to forty percent longer or farther to stop than passenger vehicles. This discrepancy can be greater on wet and slippery roads or if the truck has poorly maintained brakes. Accidents involving large trucks or heavy commercial vehicles may also be the result of driver fatigue. Federal regulations allow drivers of large trucks to drive up to eleven hours at a stretch and up to seventy-seven hours over a seven-day period. However, many truck drivers violate these regulations and work much longer than allowed. Another factor is that often, large trucks on the highway exceed allowable weight limits. Additional causes include jackknifing, rollovers, driver inexperience, and lack of proper driver training. Interestingly, truck drivers driving under the influence of alcohol is not a large contributor to these accidents. The NHTSA estimates that only two percent of the drivers of large trucks involved in fatal crashes had blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) of 0.08 or higher. This is not a significant contributor to fatal truck accidents compared to fatal passenger car accidents where twenty-three percent of the drivers of passenger cars had BACs of 0.08 or higher. No matter the cause of the trucking accident, injuries can be serious or even fatal. It is important to have an experienced Sacramento Truck Accident Lawyer by your side in the event that you or a loved one is involved in a trucking accident.
Rancho Cordova Truck Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic injury in a Rancho Cordova Truck Accident or elsewhere, call me now at (916) 921-6400, or toll-free at (800) 404-5400, for a free consultation.
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