Statistics Involving Fatal Truck Accidents in the United States
Every motor vehicle accident is a scary and potentially life-changing event.
When there is an accident involving a commercial/large truck, 18-wheeler, semi-truck, or however else you would like to refer to them, not only is the event much more traumatizing, but it is also potentially much more devastating.
For obvious reasons, semi-trucks cause significantly more damage during accidents than regular passenger vehicles.
As expert truck accident lawyers, we know all too well the devastating results a truck accident can leave behind.
Unfortunately, due to the increase in online shopping and the demand for faster shipping, the number of fatal vehicle truck accidents will likely continue to rise.
The data below displays data gathered by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The most recent data is from 2018.
Breaking down truck accidents involving commercial/large trucks in the US
Total fatal truck accidents in the United States in 2018 (most recent data)
- In 2018, there were 4,136 deaths involving large trucks in the United States
- 67% of the deaths involving large trucks were passengers in other vehicles
- 3,204 (74%) of the trucks were tractor-trailers and 1,108 (27%) were single-unit trucks
- The total deaths involving large trucks in 2017 was 4,115 (21 less than 2018)
As expected, the number of miles driven by truck drivers in the United States continues to rise. In 2018 alone, drivers driving commercial semi-trucks drove nearly 305,000,000,000 miles.
Fatal truck accident statistics in the United States by road type in 2018
- 2,156 (52%) of the fatal truck accidents in the United States were on “other major roads” (I.e. not a highway or freeway)
- 1,375 (33%) of the fatal truck accidents in the United States were on highways or freeways
- 599 (14%) of the fatal truck accidents in the United States on minor/smaller roads
Fatal truck accidents statistics in the United States by event
- 3,139 involved a collision with a vehicle in transport
- 388 involved a collision fixed/non-moving object
- 314 involved a collision with a pedestrian
- 181 involved the truck overturning/rolling over
The remaining fatalities involved things like collisions with an animal, train, and even fires.
States with the highest fatal truck accidents in 2017
- Texas had 556 fatal accidents involving large/commercial trucks
- California had 320 fatal accidents involving large/commercial trucks
- Florida had 275 fatal accidents involving large/commercial trucks
- Pennsylvania had 157 fatal accidents involving large/commercial trucks
- Ohio had 275 fatal accidents involving large/commercial trucks
Insert link to truck accidents by state post
Fatal truck accidents in the United States by speed limit
- 1,401 (33.1%) of the fatal crashes were in 50 – 55 mph zones
- 875 (20.7%) of the fatal crashes were in 60 – 65 mph zones
- 787 (18.6%) of the fatal crashes were in 70 – 75 mph zones
Fatal truck accidents statistics by the time of day
- 2,740 of the fatalities occurred during the daytime (6am – 6pm)
- The other 1,497 fatalities occurred during the nighttime (6pm – 6am)
Truck accidents caused by drunk driving (blood alcohol content over .08%)
Due to long hours and strict regulations implemented by the government, truck drivers who were involved in fatal truck accidents having a Blood Alcohol Content over the average legal limit (0.08%) is very low. Only around 3% of fatal truck accidents involved the semi-truck driver being over the legal limit.
Continue reading about commercial truck accidents or speak with a personal injury attorney
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