It is not difficult to understand why a crash with a large commercial truck could prove deadly. The size and weight of these vehicles mean that people in passenger cars are especially vulnerable in a collision with a truck. These types of crashes often increase the likelihood that a person will suffer serious injury or even die.

When you’re sharing the road with a large truck here in Georgia, you may wonder about the best way to protect yourself and your family. Besides following the rules of the road and utilizing safety features in your vehicle, knowing some of the statistics about truck accidents may be helpful. The trucking industry recently released several facts about how and why these crashes occur.

How truck crashes happen

The first concerning point is that the percentage of accidents involving a large truck has gone up significantly in recent years. The U.S. Department of Transportation found that, since 2009, multi-vehicle crashes involving a truck went up by 52%. What’s more, the rate of crashes overall dropped by 2%, but that drop isn’t carrying over to truck crashes.

When people die in a truck accident, it is overwhelmingly likely that they were an occupant in a vehicle other than the truck, as is the case with 97% of the fatalities. One small bit of good news is that the fatality rate for people inside trucks dropped, showing that safety measures in trucks are working to save lives. Regulations generated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to keep truck drivers safe appear to be working, with estimates of 7,000 lives saved from 2011 to 2015.

Why truck crashes happen

Researchers say that certain factors are more common in truck accidents, such as a mechanical defect involving the truck’s tires or brakes. If the truck is speeding or doesn’t have enough stopping distance, that increases the chance of a crash. Truck collisions tend to happen on non-interstate and non-highway major roads between the hours of noon and 3 p.m. on weekdays.

It is not hard to see that truck accidents have a high probability of proving fatal or causing serious injury. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a crash with a large commercial truck, you have available legal options you may not know about. You deserve to hold those responsible accountable.