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Semi-Truck Accident Statistics Everyone Should Know


Operating a motor vehicle, whether it’s a small sedan or an 18-wheeler, carries some inherent risk with it. Accidents can happen with any automobile, but semi-truck accidents can be especially deadly. Read on for a few semi-truck accident statistics everybody should know.

They’re More Frequent on Rural Roads

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that about two-thirds of semi-truck accidents happen on roads that are not interstates or freeways. Rural roads are often longer, flatter, and have higher speed limits—three factors that can cause a truck driver’s fatigue to set in. The driver can be lulled into a form of highway hypnosis and get distracted more easily, which can quickly lead to an accident.

Brake Issues Are a Factor

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has found that nearly 30 percent of large truck crashes occur due to brake malfunctions. If you were involved in a semi-truck accident and the investigation concludes that faulty brakes were the culprit, call an Idaho lawyer for advice on how to proceed. The brake manufacturer could carry some liability for the crash.

Many Fatalities Happen During the Day

You may think that nighttime is the most dangerous time to share the road with a semi-truck. But in 2019, 48 percent of the fatalities in semi-truck accidents occurred between 6:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Meanwhile, in car accidents that didn’t involve trucks, only 30 percent of fatalities occurred between those hours.

Speed Is a Significant Contributor

The Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine recently conducted a study of semi-truck rollover accidents. They found that in 45 percent of those accidents, speed was the most significant contributor to the crash. When a truck’s wheels move too fast and the truck needs to turn or merge, the sudden cargo shift can cause the whole truck to flip or rollover.

Most Fatalities Are Passenger Car Occupants

The IIHS studied all the truck accident-related deaths in 2019—more than 4,000 people perished in truck accidents that year. About 67 percent of those deaths were passenger car occupants, while truck occupant deaths only accounted for 16 percent.

These semi-truck accident statistics are not meant to frighten you off the road. However, everyone should know the inherent risks of sharing the road with a semi-truck so they can make informed and responsible driving decisions.