Crashes involving commercial trucks happen every day in the United States. We wanted to know how how many happen, and what we could learn about safety issues in the commercial trucking industry from the available data. So we looked at the data to see what we could find..
The National Safety Council (NSC) collects and reports on commercial truck crashes each year. Due to COVID-19 disruptions, full data sets for 2021 are not yet complete but a review of the 2020 data reveals the following:, so we must currently look at 2020 data.
According to the NSC data from 2020:
- 4,842 large trucks were involved in a fatal collision.
- The total number of truck fatalities was 4,965.
- 71% of truck fatalities are people in smaller vehicles that collide with trucks.
- 12% of truck fatalities involve bicyclists and pedestrians.
- Fatal truck crash rates have increased by 33% since 2011.
- 54% of fatal truck crashes happen in rural settings.
- 73% of fatal truck crashes happen off the interstate.
- 63% of fatal truck crashes happen during the daytime.
- October typically has the highest rate of truck crashes. .
- 9% of all fatal crashes involve a truck weighing more than 10,000 pounds.
- Only 4% of all registered vehicles are large trucks.
- 107,000 large trucks were involved in accidents that caused serious bodily injury.
Using The Data to Improve Safety
The above data might seem like meaningless statistics but it can be useful in helping reduce truck crashes. The data reveals small changes you can make to your driving behavior to reduce the likelihood you’ll be involved in a collision with a truck. Paying attention to the data can provide a good starting point for how you change your driving behavior to be safer around large trucks.
Tips for safe driving around commercial trucks::
- Intersection safety: People often assume most truck crashes happen on the highway. After all, that’s where we see commercial trucks most often. However, the data shows the majority of collisions don’t happen on highways. Most crashes happen at intersections. This is true for collisions that don’t involve commercial trucks also Whenever you are near an intersection and see a large truck, you should be extremely careful and make sure you give the truck plenty of space. to complete any turns it wants to take.
- Rural road safety: The NSC data shows that truck crashes are more likely to happen on rural roads. This is likely a result of these areas having large amounts of rural two-lane highways where cars are passing each other in opposite directions at high rates of speed. Rural roads are also often not as straight as interstate highways and the effects of distracted driving can be more catastrophic. . Give as much space as you can when driving near a commercial truck on a rural road or highway and do not crowd the center line.
- Holiday season safety: There is a predictable spike in truck crashes that starts in October and goes through December. . In October retail shipping increases considerably as more products are shipped across the country for the holidays. More shipping means more trucks on the road. Unfortunately, more trucks mean more crashes. .
We hope these tips will help you and your family stay safe when you are out and about on the roads we share with commercial trucks . If you ever are injured in a crash with a commercial truck you can rely on Shaheen & Gordon, P.A. to help you understand your rights and get the compensation you deserve. Contact us online for a free, confidential consultation.