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An alarming rise in large truck-related injuries and deaths

On Behalf of | May 9, 2024 | Truck Accidents

It’s impossible to ignore the effect large trucks have on road safety. These behemoths are crucial for moving goods across the United States, yet they present a growing danger on our streets and highways. Recent findings by the National Safety Council, drawing from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, paint a troubling picture of the safety challenges posed by these vehicles.

A surge in fatal collisions

In one year, fatal crashes involving large trucks jumped by a staggering 18%, with 5,700 such incidents reported in 2021. This number represents not just a one-year spike but a worrying decade-long trend, showing a 49% increase in fatalities from 2010 to 2020. Although only 9% of the total vehicles in fatal crashes, these trucks have a disproportionate effect on road safety overall, accounting for a higher rate of deadly accidents than their share of vehicle miles traveled would suggest.

Injury crashes on the rise too

The situation with non-fatal injuries is equally disheartening. There were 117,300 large trucks involved in injury crashes in 2021, marking a 12% climb from the year before. Over the past five years, this number has swelled by 15%, with injury rates per 100 million large-truck miles also ticking upward.

Fatality numbers are up

The human toll of these crashes is heartbreaking. A total of 5,788 individuals lost their lives in truck-related accidents in 2021, a 17% increase from the previous year. Most of these fatalities were not truck drivers but rather occupants of other vehicles, highlighting the risks faced by every day road users. Injuries followed a similar pattern, primarily affecting those in cars and light trucks.

When and where do they occur

Diving deeper into the statistics reveals some unexpected patterns. Contrary to what some might think, more than half of fatal truck accidents happen on rural roads, not highways. The majority occur in clear daylight, and a small but notable fraction takes place in construction zones. Seasonal trends also emerge, with September and the summer months seeing the most accidents while February experiences the fewest.

The path forward

These numbers are more than just data; they represent lives impacted and lost to the rising tide of large truck accidents. They are a stark reminder that our roads can be dangerous, especially when sharing them with these giant carriers. The increased frequency of these accidents clearly indicates a need for action.

Support for victims and their families

For those who have suffered loss or injury due to a truck-related accident, the recovery process can be long and fraught with challenges. Legal support is available, and personal injury attorneys specialize in navigating the complex web of trucking regulations, insurance claims and liability issues. These professionals help victims and their families seek the justice and compensation they deserve.