Truck accidents are a sobering reality on American roads, involving an array of vehicle types, occurring in various locations, and resulting in a concerning number of fatalities and injuries. This report offers an in-depth analysis of truck accident statistics in the United States, aiming to shed light on the scope of the issue and the key factors involved. Knowing the data can inform public policy, influence driver behavior, and contribute to a safer driving environment for all.
Number of Truck Accidents Per Year
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), approximately 450,000 police-reported crashes involving large trucks occurred in 2018. Of these incidents, about 107,000 led to injuries, and around 4,900 resulted in fatalities. These figures indicate the magnitude of the issue, making truck accidents a significant public safety concern.
Types of Vehicles Involved in Truck Accidents
- Semi-Trucks: Also known as tractor-trailers, these vehicles are often involved in severe crashes due to their size and weight.
- Box Trucks: Commonly used for delivery services, they are smaller than semi-trucks but can still cause significant damage.
- Tanker Trucks: These trucks carry liquids, including hazardous materials, and can be particularly dangerous in the event of a rollover.
- Flatbed Trucks: Used for transporting oversized loads, these trucks can be unstable if not loaded correctly.
- Garbage Trucks: Frequently stopping and starting, often in residential areas, increases the risk of accidents involving pedestrians or smaller vehicles.
- Tow Trucks: These vehicles are generally maneuvering in tricky conditions, often near another wreck or on the roadside, increasing the potential for accidents.
Locations of Truck Accidents
- Interstate Highways: Given the high speeds, a significant number of truck accidents occur on interstates.
- Rural Roads: Less maintained than highways and often winding or narrow, rural roads can be dangerous for large trucks.
- Urban Areas: With higher traffic congestion and frequent stops, urban areas are another common site for truck accidents.
- Mountain Roads: The steep inclines and sharp curves make mountain roads particularly hazardous for heavy vehicles.
- Work Zones: Areas with ongoing construction or maintenance are often sites of truck accidents due to changes in road conditions or temporary signage.
Fatalities and Injuries Caused by Truck Accidents
In 2018, 4,862 large trucks were involved in fatal crashes, a 1% increase from the previous year, according to the FMCSA. The risk is not just to the drivers but also to passengers in other vehicles involved in the crash. In multi-vehicle fatal crashes involving large trucks in 2018, 67% of the fatalities were occupants of other vehicles.
Approximately 107,000 injury crashes involving large trucks occurred in 2018. Injuries range from minor scrapes and bruises to severe trauma, including spinal injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and amputations. Often, the survivors face long-term disabilities and life-altering conditions.
The data on truck accidents in the United States is both eye-opening and alarming. The variety of vehicles involved, the range of locations where accidents happen, and the staggering number of fatalities and injuries all underscore the critical importance of addressing this issue. Policymakers, trucking companies, and drivers must work collectively to bring down these statistics and create a safer environment on American roads. By focusing on this goal, we can hope to see these numbers decrease, saving lives and reducing injuries in the process.
Why Hiring an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney is Crucial for Your Case
In the aftermath of a truck accident, victims often find themselves overwhelmed with medical bills, emotional trauma, and the labyrinthine process of insurance claims. While it might be tempting to settle quickly to get the ordeal over with, victims can seriously shortchange themselves without specialized legal representation. Here’s why hiring an attorney experienced in truck accident cases can be a game-changing decision.
Complexity of Truck Accident Cases
- Multiple Parties Involved – Unlike car accidents, which usually involve only the drivers, truck accidents often have multiple parties—such as trucking companies, contractors, and insurance providers—that can be held liable. An experienced attorney can identify all potential defendants to maximize your compensation.
- Federal and State Regulations – The trucking industry is subject to a plethora of federal and state regulations. An attorney with experience in truck accident cases will be well-versed in these laws and can use this knowledge to build a stronger case for you.
- Intricacies of Evidence – Evidence such as truck driver logs, GPS data, and maintenance records can be crucial in establishing liability. An experienced attorney will know how to obtain and interpret this information, which could otherwise be difficult for a layperson to access and understand.
- Expertise in Damage Valuation – Truck accidents often result in catastrophic injuries, sometimes requiring long-term care. An experienced attorney can accurately evaluate both economic and non-economic damages, including future medical expenses and emotional trauma, ensuring you get the compensation you deserve.
- Skillful Negotiation and Litigation – Insurance companies are in the business of minimizing payouts. They have seasoned negotiators who aim to settle for the lowest possible amount. An experienced attorney can skillfully negotiate with these professionals, or even take the case to court if a fair settlement is not reached.
- Contingency-Based Fees – Our experienced truck accident attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning we only get paid if you win. This not only makes it financially easier for you to hire top-notch representation, but also motivates your attorney to secure the best possible outcome for you.
- Access to Resources – Experienced truck accident lawyers usually have a network of professionals, like accident reconstruction experts and medical consultants, who can provide expert testimonies on your behalf. They can also carry the financial burden of the case, from gathering evidence to hiring expert witnesses, until the settlement is secured.
- Emotional and Psychological Support – Aside from the legal aspects, a truck accident can be an emotionally draining experience. A compassionate attorney can help you through this difficult time by taking the weight of the legal process off your shoulders, allowing you to focus on recovery.
The complexities and stakes involved in truck accident cases make it imperative to have an experienced attorney by your side. From understanding federal regulations to navigating through insurance claims and providing emotional support, a specialized attorney can offer invaluable assistance. They can level the playing field against trucking companies and insurance providers, ensuring that your rights are protected and you receive the compensation you deserve.
CONTACT PARKER WAICHMAN LLP FOR A FREE CASE REVIEW
Parker Waichman LLP helps families recover monetary compensation for harm caused by dangerous truck drivers. For your free consultation, contact our national truck accident law firm today by using our live chat or calling 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529).
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