Commercial Truck Accident Statistics (2019 Update)
Personal injury blog
The Dangers of Commercial Trucks
Commercial trucks play a vital role in the United States’ economy.
Each day, 18-wheelers deliver countless items that bring consumers their products and help businesses run more efficiently.
Nowadays, speed is essential. Consumers and businesses both want their goods as quickly as possible.
As experts in truck accident law, we must constantly review statistics, facts, and data for motor vehicle accidents involving semi-trucks. When clients come to us after they were involved in a truck accident while driving their personal car, truck, or motorcycle, we know there are important factors to analyze in order to determine who is at fault.
Commercial truck drivers carry a lot of responsibility when they get behind the wheel of a truck that size, and unfortunately, many times they also face strenuous working conditions. They must meet strict deadlines while also driving long shifts. Combining that with poor road conditions, inexperienced drivers, or a mechanically flawed machine can lead to devastating results.
As personal injury attorneys, it is our job to help our clients receive fair compensation when they are involved in a trucking collision. Because of this, we have certain statistics and facts that we refer to when analyzing a crash site and building our case.
The data below was compiled from reports created by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
Important truck accident statistics
- The United States Department of Transportation allows truckers to drive a maximum of 11 hours per day. This equates to 77 hours per week driving on the road.
- Fully-loaded 18-wheelers can require up to 30% greater stopping distance
- In 2017, there were 102,000 injuries from automobile accidents that involved a semi-trick
- 4,102 people died in commercial truck accidents in 2017
- 2,797 (nearly 70%) of those killed in truck accidents in 2017 were occupants of the other vehicles involved in the accident
- 580 (nearly 15%) of those killed in truck accidents in 2015 were pedestrians, bike riders or motorcycle riders
- 1979 was the deadliest year involving truck crashes where 6,539 deaths were caused
- 98% of commercial truck accidents result in at least 1 death
- Trucking accidents cause an average of about $60,000 in damage
- Driver fatigue is the primary contributor for about 30% of truck accidents
Semi-Truck accidents by state in 2017
|District of Columbia||0|
Commercial truck accidents by the speed limit
|Speed Limit||Number of Fatalities||Percent of Fatalities|
|25 mph or Less||122||0.029|
|30 - 35 mph||281||0.066|
|40 - 45 mph||599||0.141|
|50 - 55 mph||1401||0.331|
|60 - 65 mph||875||0.207|
|70 - 75 mph||787||0.186|
|80 - 85 mph||30||0.007|
|No Statutory Limit||49||0.012|
Large truck accidents by year
|Year||People Injured in Truck Accidents|
Key factors that cause truck accidents include:
- Truck drivers driving to fast in order to meet a deadline
- Inexperienced drivers operating the truck
- Inexperienced drivers operating other vehicles
- Dangerous weather conditions
- Truck drivers falling asleep due to long driving periods
- And countless other circumstances
While this is a key marketing tool for delivery services that operate in the trucking industry, it is also a key factor in truck accidents.
Semi-trucks sheer power and weight make them one of the deadliest weapons on the road. Even an accident at a slow speed can cause devastating results.
How much does a semi-truck weigh?
The average weight of a semi-truck is around 80,000 pounds and usually weigh 30-35 times more than the average car, however, different factors can cause this number to vary. The weight of a commercial truck depends on several things:
The length of the truck:
The average length of a semi-truck is between 71 and 73 feet (this includes both the cab and the trailer).
The amount/weight of cargo the truck is transporting:
The average weight of a semi-truck’s load is between 70,000 and 80,000 pounds.
The state in which the truck is operating:
Different states allow different maximum load capacity for commercial trucks. South Dakota, the state that allows the most weight to be transported, allows up to 171,000 pounds to be delivered on non-interstate roads.
As truck accident attorneys in St. Louis we have dealt with many automobile accidents involving semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, and other commercial trucks. We have seen the catastrophic damages that are the result of these massive vehicles colliding with consumer vehicles. If you or a loved one has been injured in a commercial trucking accident contact us to find out your options!