Truck Accident Statistics

Most people are aware that many truck accidents take place every year in the United States, which causes injury to thousands of people, in addition to causing many deaths. But do you know the actual numbers? Here are some truck accident statistics, as released by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and compiled by many agencies and sources.

A trucking accident occurs when large trailers (10,000+ lbs.) collide with other vehicles or pedestrians. Around 500,000 trucking accidents occur every year in the United States. Of these, approximately 5,000 trucking accidents result in fatalities. In fact, one out of every eight traffic fatalities involves a trucking collision.

Trucking revenues totaled $610 billion last year and revenues are estimated to nearly double by 2015. While commercial trucking growth is good news for the trucking companies and the economy, it is bad news for the cars, vans and SUVs that share the road with these potentially lethal giants. In tractor trailer accidents, 98% of fatalities occur to the individuals in the passenger vehicles.

In 2008, the preliminary national crash facts were as follows:

123,918 large trucks and 13,263 buses involved in non-fatal crashes
49,084 large trucks and 7,123 buses involved in injury crashes
73,047 injuries in crashes involving large trucks and 16,760 injuries in crashes involving buses
74,834 large trucks and 6,140 buses involved in tow-away crashes
2,609 large trucks and 11 buses involved in hazmat (HM) placard crashes

Sixty-eight percent of all fatal truck accidents happened not in cities, but in rural regions. As high as 66% of all fatal truck accidents occurred in the day as opposed to night; weekends accounted for 78% of the total fatal truck accidents that took place in 2003.

Statistics of Fatal Truck Accidents and Drivers' Negligence

Accidents occurring while a driver is under the influence or while intoxicated are at an epidemic level in the United States. Truck accidents are not exempt from this. Driving under the influence (DUI) is regarded as one of the leading causes of fatal truck accidents today.

Statewide, the numbers are sometimes staggering. For instance, the following are a list of Oregon truck accident statistics for 2004:

In 2004, 1159 truck accidents took place in Oregon, which resulted in fatalities, injuries, or damage to other vehicles.
This figure is 8.01% higher than in 2003.
621 truck accidents were the fault of the truck, with a staggering 596 of these due to a fault on the part of the truck driver.

13 was the maximum number of truck accidents in one day, with 26 being the highest number of truck accidents by one trucking company.

Five hundred forty-five people were injured in the above 1,159 truck accidents, with six of the truck drivers being killed.
3.02% of the total truck accidents involved trucks that were transporting hazardous supplies.

Over the years, the number of trucks on U.S. roads has increased to a great extent, but statistics show that the number of deaths due to truck accidents has remained more or less the same – about 5,000 deaths each year. This number is still too high, of course, and efforts must be taken to reduce fatalities as a result of truck accidents.

Truck drivers and trucking companies should ensure well maintained trucks and disciplined driving. Owners of small vehicles and passenger cars can also learn the techniques of defensive driving in relation to trucks. With combined efforts, these high statistics can be reduced.

Truck drivers can slow down in work zones, keep their distance, be aware of their "no-zones", maintain their vehicles and drive defensively. Drivers of passenger cars can avoid accidents with trucks by avoiding the blind spots around trucks. In addition, these drivers should avoid passing a truck on the right when the truck is turning right. Finally, observe a truck's turn signals, you appropriate passing procedures, do not cut trucks off, and report dangerous driving to the proper authorities.

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