Truck Accidents Statistics

San Francisco Big-Rig Trucking Accident Lawyers | California Trucking Accident Attorney

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Trucks are inherently more prone to accidents for several reasons. Their sheer size alone makes them particularly vulnerable to collisions with other vehicles, especially when merging into lanes, and because of their length, have large blind spots that make it difficult to see nearby drivers. This, coupled with the fact that truck drivers must drive very long distances to meet delivery deadlines, makes truck accidents far too common.

To illustrate the scope of this problem, we have compiled a list of statistics that show the frequency of truck accidents, the number of injuries and deaths they cause, and the different factors that most often contribute to crashes.

  • According to national statistics provided by the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, for every 100,000 members of the population, 1.16 lose their lives in truck crashes.
  • In 2012, 3,802 large trucks were involved in crashes that resulted in fatalities, which reflected a 5 percent increase over the previous year.
  • 2.1 percent of truck crashes in 2012 involved truck drivers with a blood alcohol level of .08 or more. A total of 3.5 percent of drivers involved in crashes tested positive for some amount of alcohol use.
  • Between 2011 and 2012, the number of trucks involved in fatal crashes saw a 5 percent increase that resulted in nearly 200 more accidents, and crashes involving other vehicles also increased by 4 percent.
  • Property damage-only crashes increased by 14 percent between 2011 and 2012, resulting in an over $30,000 increase in damages.
  • Each year, about one in every eight traffic crash fatalities is the result of a large truck collision.
  • In fatality crashes involving a large truck and a passenger vehicle,98 percent of the resulting deaths are the occupants of the passenger vehicles.
  • Between 1993 and 1999, approximately 20 percent of truck crashes involved at least one driver who did not have a valid driver’s license at the time of the crash.
  • According to data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), almost 30 percent of tractor-trailer drivers who were involved in fatal crashes had at least one prior conviction for speeding.

More Facts about Trucks

When a loaded truck needs to come to a stop, it requires 20-40 percent more stopping distance than the average passenger vehicle. When the trailer is empty, this number becomes even higher. That is why truck drivers must be extra careful about how fast they are driving, how closely they follow traffic, and how much they can load into their trailers.

Overloaded trucks can be especially dangerous because they not only compromise the structural integrity of roads and bridges, but also run the risk of tire blowouts and brake failures that could cause accidents. According to the Federal Highway Administration, of all the trucks with out-of-service violations, nearly one third of them have problems with their brakes.

Federal Trucking Regulations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates the trucking industry by enforcing certain rules that are designed to keep truckers and other drivers safe. Federal regulations allow drivers of large trucks to drive up to fourteen hours per day after a minimum of ten hours off-duty. Alternatively, they are also permitted to drive a total of 60 hours in not less than five days by alternating ten hours of continuous driving with a minimum of eight hours of off-duty rest time.

While trucking companies are supposed to enforce these rules, surveys reveal that many drivers violate these regulations in order to meet deadlines or out of carelessness. Driver fatigue due to driving longer than these limits greatly increases the chance of an accident. According to data compiled by the NHTSA, almost 30 percent of tractor-trailer drivers who were involved in fatal crashes had at least one prior conviction for speeding.

Our Truck Accident Lawyers Can Fight to Protect Your Rights

If you have been involved in a truck accident that resulted in serious injury, please contact the San Francisco truck accident lawyers at Scarlett Law Group. You may be able to collect compensation for costs related to your accident, including medical bills, rehabilitative care, and other damages. We proudly assist the personal injury needs of clients throughout California.

For your free consultation, call our office at (415) 688-2176.

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