Organizations such as the National Safety Council (NSC) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) keep detailed records about crashes involving large trucks.
Available information not only includes statistics concerning injuries and fatalities, but also the reasons behind truck crashes along with when and where they are most likely to happen.
By the numbers
The FMCSA reports that from 2015 to 2018, fatal crashes involving large trucks weighing between 10,000 and 14,000 pounds increased by 330%. In 2018 alone, there were 4,415 fatal crashes involving large trucks as well as 107,000 injuries. By far, the majority of those who died were occupants of the smaller vehicles.
Time and place
In 2019, according to the NSC, over half of the fatalities resulting from large truck crashes occurred on rural roads. For one thing, drivers tend to exceed the speed limit in rural areas and accidents occur in trying to avoid large animals crossing the road. Distractions and driver fatigue also play a role, and most truck crashes happen on weekdays.
An average truck weighs approximately 230 times that of an SUV. Therefore, it is not surprising that the occupants of the smaller vehicles involved in a truck-car crash almost always suffer the most serious injuries. Severity depends on the speed of the vehicles, the intensity of impact and whether seat belts were in use. Common injuries include traumatic brain injury, lumbar and cervical spine damage, paralysis and crushing and burn injuries.
Victims injured as the result of a truck-car collision have a right to expect compensation to cover their medical expenses, lost wages and more. However, cases involving truck crashes are often complex since liability may spread to multiple parties, including the driver, the trucking company, the maintenance company and the individuals who loaded the cargo.