Vehicle, Driver, and Crash Statistics for Large Truck Accidents

If you have suffered from injuries in a serious tractor trailer accident, then you are not alone.  Large truck accidents are often very serious because of the immense size difference between a truck and a passenger vehicle.  In fact, 12% of those killed in motor vehicle accidents die in crashes that involve a large truck; over 100,000 more people are injured every year in large truck accidents.  The unfortunate fact is that 98% of all multi-vehicle fatalities involving large trucks are passenger vehicle occupants.


The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) maintains statistics about large truck accidents in the United States.  Below are statistics gathered for their 2007 Large Truck Crash Causation study.


Large Truck Accidents – Vehicle Statistics


Large trucks represented 8% of vehicles in fatal crashes, 2% of vehicles in injury crashes, and 4% of vehicles in property-damage-only crashes.

Large truck tractors pulling semi-trailers account for 62% of trucks in fatal crashes and 46% of trucks in nonfatal crashes.

Only 3% of fatal large truck accidents can be attributed to “doubles” (truck tractors pulling a semi-trailer and a full trailer).

Only 0.1% of fatal large truck accidents can be attributed to “triples” (truck tractors pulling three trailers).

Trucks carrying hazardous materials (HM) account for 4% of all large trucks involved in fatal crashes and 2% of those in nonfatal crashes.

Hazardous materials were released from the cargo compartment of large trucks in 36% of fatal crashes and 12% of nonfatal crashes.


Large Truck Accidents – Driver Statistics


More truck drivers (79%) involved in fatal crashes wear their seat belts compared to passenger vehicle drivers (62%).

Intoxication is not a major factor in fatal large truck crashes; only 1% of truck drivers involved in fatal accidents were legally intoxicated, compared with 23% of passenger vehicle drivers.

Truck driver related factors were cited for 38% of fatal crashes involving large trucks, compared to passenger vehicle driver related factors that accounted for 67% of fatal crashes.

Driver related factors that contribute to deadly accidents include driving too fast, failure to keep in proper lane, inattention, and failure to yield the right of way.


Large Truck Accidents – Crash Statistics


Speed was a factor in 25% of fatal large truck crashes (compare to speed being a factor in 33% of all fatal crashes).

Adverse weather conditions were an issue only for 13% of fatal large truck crashes and 11% of nonfatal large truck crashes.

When fatalities occur in a rear-end crash, passenger vehicles hit the large truck 16% of the time and large trucks hit the passenger vehicle 5% of the time.

When fatalities occur in a head-on collision, passenger vehicles cross the median and hit the truck 16% of the time while large trucks cross the median and hit the passenger vehicle only 1% of the time.

Rollovers are the first harmful event in only 5% of fatal crashes and 3% of nonfatal crashes involving a large truck.

Fatal ork zone accidents (construction, maintenance, or utility activity) involved a large truck 24% of the time.


Please contact the personal injury attorneys at Tavss Fletcher to talk to attorneys experienced with large truck accidents in Virginia.



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