If you look at truck accident statistics in the United States, you may notice that although road crashes involving large trucks are less frequent than regular car accidents, they tend to involve more fatalities and worse injuries. The U.S. trucking industry employs an estimated 3.5 million drivers and generates hundreds of billions of dollars in annual revenue. The industry is considered the “lifeblood” of the U.S. economy and serves as the vital link between producers and consumers.
Since truck accidents involve massive vehicles that weigh tens of thousands of pounds and carry hazardous materials, colliding with a semi-truck or 18-wheeler on Georgia roads poses significant threats to car drivers, their passengers, and other motorists. Let’s review 9 truck accident stats that every driver should be aware of.
1. Nearly 450,000 Truck Crashes Were Reported to Police in 2017
How many truck accidents happen a year? According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were nearly 450,000 truck crashes reported to police in 2017. Of these, approximately 1 percent – 4,237 – were fatal, while the other 23 percent – 344,000 – resulted in injuries.
2. The Risk of Colliding with a Commercial Truck in Georgia and other parts of the U.S. is 65% Higher During Daytime Hours.
Although some think truck accidents are more common at night, truck accident statistics show the opposite is true. The risk of colliding with a commercial truck in Georgia and other parts of the U.S. is 65% higher in the daytime (6 am – 6 pm). The remaining 35% of truck crashes occur at night between 6 pm and 6 am.
3. Thursday's Are The Most Dangerous Day of Week for Truck Accidents.
Statistically speaking, Thursday sees the biggest percentage of truck accidents, followed by Friday. The lowest likelihood of colliding with a truck is on Sunday.
4. Statistics Show That the Majority of Truck Related Crashes Occur During Clear Weather.
How do weather conditions contribute to truck crashes? Although it may seem that adverse weather conditions such as rain and snow are to blame for a large percentage of truck collisions, statistics show that most of these crashes occur during perfectly clear weather (more than 66%). Cloudy weather conditions contribute to nearly 15% of collisions involving 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers, and semi-trucks.
5. 64% of All Fatal Truck Accidents Involve 2 Vehicles.
Stats show that one-vehicle crashes account for nearly 20% of all fatal truck accidents in the U.S. The other 64% involve two vehicles. In more than 11% of the collisions, there are three vehicles involved.
6. Tractor/Semi-Trailers Cause Most Truck Collisions.
Tractor/semi-trailers cause the majority of truck collisions (nearly 59%), followed by single-unit trucks with two units (more than 20%) and single-unit trucks with three axles (almost 10%).
7. Car Passengers Are More Likely to Die in Truck Accidents.
The driver of the large truck dies in less than 15% of truck crashes, while the driver of the other vehicle involved – typically, a passenger car – is killed nearly 57% of the time. Passengers of other motor vehicles account for more than 16% of truck accident fatalities.
8. Speeding and Distracted Driving Are The Most Common Causes of Truck Accidents.
Speeding, distracted driving (inattentive driver, cellphone use, etc.), and failure to yield the right of way accounted for a total of nearly 17% crashes, with speeding being the most common driver-related cause of truck collisions in Georgia and elsewhere in the U.S.
Other common driver errors that contributed to truck crashes are listed in this particular order: driving under the influence, careless driving, failure to stay in the proper lane, failure to obey traffic signs, and failure to maintain a safe distance.
9. Georgia Averages Between 180 and 230 Fatal Truck Accidents Every Year.
Each year, Georgia sees between 180 and 230 fatal truck accidents, accounting for nearly 14% of total motor vehicle crash fatalities in the state, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Of these, the larger amount of deaths occur in single-vehicle collisions (53%).
If anything, these truck accident statistics mean one thing: Although truck crashes are rather prevalent in Atlanta and other parts of Georgia, the vast majority of them can be prevented by careful and cautious operation of vehicles and compliance with federal laws and safety protocols.