How Common are Truck Accidents in the US?

Commercial trucks carry goods all over the United States, and we definitely need their services. Without semis carrying goods, we would find it challenging to get the basic things we need from the store. They are a major part of the US economy.

When you take a look at the statistics and data around commercial trucks, you find that there are a lot of accidents and injuries that could most likely be avoided. Whether the companies are pushing the drivers too hard and not allowing them much-needed rest or the trucks aren’t properly maintained, an accident with a semi could be catastrophic.

The drivers have deadlines and responsibilities, and they are often overwhelmed and overworked. When you pair these responsibilities with road conditions, long hours, inexperience, or mechanical issues, you find that the risks of incidents rise even higher.

In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at some statistics related to truck accidents. If you’ve been injured or affected by a truck accident, you may need to consider working with a Louisville personal injury lawyer to seek compensation.

Truck Accident Statistics

There is a lot of information to consider when you see the number of truck accidents that happen every year. There are laws and regulations that dictate how much a trucker can drive per day, but many companies will fudge the books or force the drivers back on the road without adequate rest.

Even when they follow the guidelines of only driving up to 11 hours per day, this could equal 77 hours on the road every week for those drivers. That’s almost twice as many hours as a traditional full-time job.

Check out these statistics:

  • A loaded semi may need as much as 30% more stopping distance to fully stop
  • There are nearly 500,000 accidents every year involving large trucks
  • From those accidents, approximately 100,000 injuries are recorded every year
  • Anywhere from 3,000-5,000, people die every year from truck accidents
  • In truck accidents, the other vehicle generally has more injuries or fatalities
  • Truck accidents account for more than 10% of all fatal auto accidents
  • More than 90% of truck accidents result in at least one fatality
  • One truck accident can cause more than $60,000 in property damage alone
  • Approximately 30% of truck accidents are caused by driver fatigue

These numbers are staggering. And when you consider that a day off or more hours off the road could reduce accidents, it really hits hard.

States with the Highest Numbers of Truck Accidents

Every state has truck accidents every year on its books. However, some states have significantly higher recorded accidents than others. This may be due to high speeds or the amount of traffic. Inadequate road conditions might also play a part.

These are the states with the highest numbers of truck accidents:

  1. Texas
  2. California
  3. Florida
  4. Georgia
  5. Pennsylvania
  6. Ohio
  7. North Carolina
  8. Illinois
  9. Tennessee
  10. Indiana

Speed Limits and Truck Accidents

Another common issue with truck accidents is the rate of speed. When a truck is traveling at a high speed, it takes far longer for them to stop. If they come up on bad roads or something in the road, they may not be able to stop fast enough.

The majority of commercial truck accidents occur with trucks that are traveling anywhere from 50-65 MPH, which is their average highway speed.

Top Reasons for Truck Accidents

There are many things that can lead to truck accidents. It simply depends on the situation and the roads. However, data shows that fatigue is one of the leading reasons for truck accidents.

These are some other things that might cause accidents with commercial trucks:

  • High speed to meet a deadline
  • Inexperienced drivers on the road
  • Other drivers are not respectful of commercial trucks
  • Weather and dangerous road conditions
  • Exhausted drivers (falling asleep or responding more slowly)

These are just a few scenarios, but there are many other circumstances that could result in an accident. These trucks are huge and powerful. Their weight and power make them incredibly dangerous on the road when something goes wrong.

Semi Truck Weight Analysis

When you think about the sheer weight of a commercial truck when loaded, it makes sense that they become dangerous. The weight and size make the trucks much harder to control and require some finesse while driving. If one small thing goes wrong, there could be major issues.

Most semi-trucks weigh an average of 80,000 pounds. These are some variables that might affect the weight:

  • Semis range in length from 71-73 feet with cab and trailer
  • Semi-loads might weigh anywhere from 70,000-80,000 pounds on average
  • States have varying allowances for weight limits. For example, South Dakota allows up to 171,000 pounds of transport, while many states have much lower limits.

Know Your Options Following a Truck Accident

A truck accident may not fully be the fault of the driver in some cases, but the trucking company can often be held responsible for fatigued drivers or poor maintenance of the truck. You have options when you are injured in a truck accident.

Seek the compensation that you deserve with the help of an experienced and knowledgeable Louisville personal injury lawyer.

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