Commercial trucks are a vital part of the economy. We all owe truck drivers a debt of gratitude for their hard work and dedication to what they do. Yet, truck drivers are still people and can make mistakes while driving. Unfortunately, their mistakes behind the wheel often have especially disastrous consequences.

Anyone here in Georgia who has been in a motor vehicle crash with a large commercial truck knows how traumatizing the entire event can be. Just due to basic physics, a trucking accident is more likely to result in serious injuries or even fatalities for those involved. What’s even more troubling is that studies show that most of those deaths happen to people in regular passenger vehicles. Statistics can teach us a great deal about accidents with semi-trucks, maybe even how to help keep your family safe.

Truck crashes often prove fatal

The number of fatal truck accidents in this country is alarming. One study done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that more than 4,100 people died in a trucking crash in 2018, the most recent year for statistics. That means that 11% of all fatal motor vehicle crashes involved a large truck.

Over two-thirds of those deaths happened to people in passenger vehicles. Fifteen percent were bicyclists, motorcyclists or those on foot. The overall number may not seem very high, but there has been a 31% jump in fatalities due to truck crashes from 2009 to 2018. The study also looked more specifically at crashes involving only two vehicles, where one of them was a truck and one was a passenger vehicle. In those types of crashes, a staggering 96% of deaths were people in the passenger vehicles.

Some positive news

There was at least one good piece of news. When factoring in miles traveled, crash rates actually dropped. Also, contrary to what you might think, truck crashes happened mostly on major, non-interstate roadways. The study breaks down the data further, but the takeaway remains the same. Getting into a crash with a commercial truck can be deadly.

No matter how you look at it, the truth is there. Getting into a crash with a commercial truck can cost you your livelihood or even your life. If you or someone you care about has been harmed in a trucking accident, there are ways for you to hold responsible parties accountable, whether that is the truck driver or the company that employed him or her.