Large commercial trucks are a common sight on America’s roadways. They carry essential goods to all corners of our country. By nature of their size, a truck accident can be very dangerous, even deadly. But which areas of the United States have the most deadly accidents involving trucks?
The Parker Waichman team analyzed research from the U.S. Department of Transportation to determine which counties in the United States had the most truck crash fatalities.
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Where Do the Most Fatal Accidents Involving Large Trucks Occur?
To create our graphic, we analyzed fatal accidents involving a large truck per 100,000 people between 2014 and 2018 based on data from the U.S. Department of Transportation. For the purpose of our study, we only reviewed counties with more than 25,000 residents. These were the top ten counties with the most fatal truck accidents along with their rate per 100,000 people:
- Shelby County, TX: 59.350
- Lea County, NM: 56.283
- Williams County, ND: 53.207
- Cibola County, NM: 52.484
- Copiah County, MS: 49.884
- West Baton Rouge Parish, LA: 49.121
- Grady County, OK: 48.358
- Garvin County, OK: 46.913
- Jasper County, SC: 46.553
- Howard County, TX: 46.367
In terms of total fatal truck accidents between 2014 and 2018, these are the ten counties that had the most:
- Midland County, TX: 67
- Ector County, TX: 50
- Lea County, TX: 40
- Grady County, OK: 27
- Liberty County, TX: 27
- Eddy County, NM: 25
- Williams County, ND: 20
- Chambers County, TX: 19
- Rusk County, TX: 19
- Bryan County, OK: 18
Safely Sharing the Road With Trucks
It is inevitable that most drivers will encounter a large truck in their travels. It’s important for all drivers to know how to safely navigate the road around trucks:
- Stay out of a truck’s blind spots. Due to their size, trucks have large blind spots on all sides. Assume that if you cannot see the truck driver in your side mirror, they cannot see you, either.
- Pass trucks quickly and safely. Be sure to use your turn signals, and accelerate so you can pass the truck as quickly as possible while following the speed limit. Give the truck plenty of room if you intend to pull in front of it.
- Never cut off a truck. It can take much longer for a truck to stop than a traditional vehicle. Many of the worst truck crashes occurred because a vehicle cut off a truck.
- Stay alert. Never drive when you are fatigued or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
There are also many safety tips for truck drivers that can help reduce the number of truck driver fatalities on the road:
- Drive defensively. Keep scanning the road, and be aware of road conditions, distracted drivers, and those who don’t understand how commercial vehicles operate.
- Know when it’s time to slow down. Understand that weather, precipitation, curves, and ramps can all impact how long it takes to slow a truck down.
- Make sure you’re alert. Don’t drive if you’re drowsy, fatigued, sick, or taking medication that affects your reaction time. You don’t want to be contacted by a truck accident attorney seeking compensation for a victim because you were driving carelessly.
- Keep your truck properly maintained. Make sure you do a pre-trip safety inspection of your truck. Ensure that your load is secure and balanced.