How Many Accidents Are Caused by Large Trucks?

Unless you’re a truck driver, you probably see the highway as a convenient way to get from one place to another. Whether you’re commuting across town to work or heading to another state on a road trip, highways help most of America get from one place to another quickly. 

It can be easy to forget that the U.S. highway system also serves as a complex corridor for the trucking industry. The country’s highways form an interconnected system, helping goods move from one coast to another so that grocery stores, shopping malls, and factories stay stocked with the items they need to serve their customers. 

Most people don’t stop to consider the number of large trucks hauling loads across the nation. However, taking a moment to reflect on the size and impact of the trucking industry sheds a concerning light on the serious number of large truck accidents — and the rate of injuries and fatalities that come out of large truck accidents is only getting worse. 

Key Facts About Large Truck Crashes

Studies of large truck crash statistics included data about both commercial and noncommercial vehicles weighing over 10,000 lbs. 

Key findings about large truck crashes in the past data include: 

  • 72% of people killed in truck crashes are passenger vehicle occupants
  • Trucks make up 5% of registered vehicles but are involved in 9% of fatal crashes
  • The large truck crash fatality rate has increased by 49% over the past decade
  • Between 2021 and 2022, the large truck crash fatality rate increased by 18%
  • Between 2020 and 2021, the large truck crash injury rate increased by 12%
  • Well over 100,000 individuals are injured in large truck crashes every year
  • Texas is the state with the highest number of large truck crash fatalities

Crashes involving buses and motorhomes are not included in large truck crash studies. This data is primarily concerned with looking at the impact of the trucking industry on passenger vehicle occupants. 

Large Truck Crash Fatality Rate

Data collected by the National Safety Council (NSC) and the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) sheds light on the rate of large truck crashes, their impact, and the rate at which they occur. 

The rate of large truck crashes has seen some inconsistency in the past several years. Back in 2008, there were 4,245 people killed in large truck accidents. In just one year, this number dropped by nearly 1000: 2009 saw only 3,380 large truck fatalities. 

However, over the next decade, the fatality rate slowly crept back up, increasing by a few hundred each year. By 2022, fatal accidents involving large trucks reached their highest recorded rate: 5,700.

A Closer Look at Why Truck Accidents Happen

Truck accident statistics show how frequently large truck accidents happen and the number of injuries and deaths resulting from them. However, they also shed light on how and why these accidents occur. 

Some of the most insightful statistics about when and why fatal large truck crashes occur include the following: 

  • 78% of fatal truck crashes occur on weekdays between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.
  • 20.7% of truck drivers involved in fatal crashes had previous accidents on record
  • 21% of truck drivers in fatal crashes had previous speeding tickets on record
  • 3% of truck drivers had blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) of 0.08 or higher
  • The majority of fatal truck crashes are head-on impact crashes
  • September is the month with the highest rate of fatal truck crashes
  • 58% of fatal truck crashes occur in rural areas
  • Fatal truck accidents are most likely to occur in Texas, California, and Florida 

Taking a closer look at the circumstances that give rise to large truck accidents helps to inform public policy, with the hope of targeting the leading causes and, eventually, reducing the rate of these deadly accidents. 

Getting Help After a Truck Accident

Statistics help measure the rate of injury and death caused by large truck accidents. However, they cannot measure the pain and suffering these accidents bring to their victims and their loved ones. 

Truckers and trucking companies are required to carry insurance policies designed to adequately compensate the victims of trucking accidents. However, it’s rarely easy for injured individuals to recover the compensation owed to them after a large truck crash permanently alters life. 

Truck accident lawyers work to build an argument and fight for fair compensation after a serious truck accident. A skilled lawyer can help recover the costs of medical care, lost wages, funeral and burial costs, and lost earnings of the injured or deceased individual. 

If you or a loved one were harmed in a large truck accident, nothing could undo the suffering your family experiences. But consulting with a truck accident lawyer can help reduce financial stress as you adapt to a new reality after a truck accident.

Since 1992, our personal injury attorneys at the Pines Salomon Injury Lawyers, APC. have been fighting for the people of San Diego. Now, when those injured in automobile accidents – including cartruck, and motorcycle accidents – need financial help, or for the families that need to know that the loss of a loved one could have been prevented, there is a personal injury law firm in San Diego that is on their side. If you or a family member has been injured, call the lawyers at Pines Salomon Injury Lawyers, APC. There’s never been a better time than right now to speak to a personal injury attorney—FREE of charge. Call us at 858-551-2090 or request a free consultation online today!