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A Guide to Truck Accident Statistics

By Sean Burke on November 14, 2018

Truck on its side after an accidentFrom rollovers and collisions to lost cargo and jackknifing, there are many types of truck accidents. While today’s trucks are safer than the ones that occupied the roads decades ago, truck accidents still often result in substantial property damage and serious injuries.

From broken bones and traumatic brain injury to paralysis and death, truck accident statistics reveal just how dangerous these accidents can be.

If you or someone you love suffered an injury in a truck accident, Orange County, CA truck accident lawyer Sean M. Burke will fight for compensation on your behalf.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) compiles truck accident statistics. Here is what we can learn from some of their recent findings:

Trucks Make Up a Disproportionate Percentage of Traffic on the Road

In 2015, nearly 8.5 million of the more than 263.6 million total registered vehicles in the United States were single-unit (straight) trucks, more than 2.7 million were combination trucks, and nearly 900,000 were buses. Together, these vehicles accounted for approximately 4.6 percent of all total registered vehicles.

Yet, despite accounting for a small percentage of all registered vehicles, large trucks accounted for about 9 percent of all miles traveled that year.

From that we can infer, as you might expect, the trucks that occupied the roads of the United States in 2015 often did so for extended periods of time. It is not uncommon for trucks to travel hundreds of miles in a day to make a delivery whereas personal vehicles tend to be reserved for traveling shorter distances.

Trucks Account for a Significant Percentage of Fatal and Nonfatal Crashes

In part due to driver fatigue and inherent dangers, trucks account for a significant percentage of auto accident fatalities. To be exact, in 2015, there were 32,166 fatal crashes in the United States and 3,838 of them (11.9 percent) involved at least one large truck or bus.

Large trucks and buses together accounted for about 9.5 percent of travel time, indicating that a fatal accident is more likely to occur in one of these large vehicles than in a passenger vehicle.

In addition, in 2015, of the estimated 6,263,000 nonfatal crashes in the United States, 476,000 (7.6 percent) involved at least one large truck or bus.

Why These Accidents Occur

Taking a step back, this begs the question, why do these accidents occur so frequently? Often, the reason is neglect on the part of the responsible party:

  • Exceeding Weight Capacity: State and federal guidelines are in place to regulate the weight capacity on trucks, and failure to follow these guidelines can make it more difficult for an operator to stop.
  • Lack of Training: Trucking companies who neglect to properly train their truck operators may be held liable for ensuing damages.
  • Faulty Equipment: If a truck company lets a truck go out on the road that is in no condition to be there, the company can be held responsible for an accident that occurs. If, for example, brakes are not inspected and replaced on schedule, they can be liable for a resulting truck accident.

Contact a Truck Accident Lawyer

If you suffered an injury in an accident with a large truck, truck accident attorney Sean M. Burke can help. To schedule a consultation, call (949) 644-3434 or contact us online today.

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