McArthur Law Firm

Statistics show an increase in truck crashes in America

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration helps regulate the trucks on the roads today as well as the laws that apply to these vehicles and their drivers. Each year, the administration releases information about the number of large truck and bus crashes, so that it can get a better idea of why accidents are happening and how they can be stopped.

The most recent data is from 2017. In that study, it was shown that 4,657 large trucks were involved in fatal crashes. There were 102,973 trucks involved in crashes that required at least one vehicle to be towed from the scene. Another 56,422 trucks were involved in crashes that resulted in injuries.

How often were hazardous materials a risk to those involved in truck accidents?

In 2017, 3% of the vehicles involved in fatal crashes had hazardous materials as cargo. In nonfatal crashes, only 2% of vehicles were carrying hazardous materials. The hazardous materials were released from the cargo compartments in 16% of the vehicles involved in fatal and nonfatal crashes. In most cases, it was flammable liquids that were released from the cargo compartments, which could increase the risk of a fire at the scene.

Are truck crashes increasing in America?

The total number of large trucks that were involved in fatal crashes while weighing between 10,001 and 14,000 pounds did increase between 2015 and 2017. The increase was around 225%. The total number of large trucks that did not have an issuing authority that were involved in fatal crashes increased by 95%, while the medium/heavy pickup trucks involved in fatal collisions increased by 151%. Overall, it's clear that, at least between 2015 and 2017, the total number of fatal incidents related to commercial vehicles increased significantly across the board.

Which types of trucks are most likely to be involved in crashes?

Statistics show that singles (semitrucks pulling a single trailer) were most likely to be involved in fatal crashes in 2017 and made up 59% of the crashes overall.

Looking at these statistics, it's easy to see why so many people fear driving near trucks on the roadways. There is no question that these vehicles can pose a threat to others and that the drivers have a great responsibility to keep others safe by using proper driving techniques, getting enough sleep and staying focused on the road. If drivers do cause a crash, injuries or fatalities could be a result.

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