Large commercial trucks, such as semi-trucks, 18-wheelers and tractor-trailers, are extremely powerful and dangerous vehicles. It makes sense, then, that truck accidents tend to result in much higher levels of injury and damage than car accidents. Trucks are obviously much larger, and are usually carrying cargo, such as heavy equipment, slippery liquids or hazardous materials, that creates debris-filled roads and other unsafe conditions. Accident statistics are a sobering reminder of the serious destruction trucks can cause.
A National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA) report released in April 2013 revealed that in 2010, large commercial trucks made up only four percent of total vehicles on the road and about ten percent of total miles traveled, yet more than eight percent of all fatal crashes involved large trucks. In 2011, there were 1,044 fatal crashes in Indiana, 130 of which involved large trucks — a whopping 12.5 percent. Trucks were also more likely to be involved in fatal multiple vehicle accidents than any other type of vehicle, and 80 percent of fatal truck crashes involved multiple vehicles.
In terms of injuries, 88,000 people were injured in nonfatal truck crashes in 2011 — a ten percent rise from the previous year. Of those injured, 72 percent were occupants of other vehicles, while 26 percent were occupants of the truck or trucks involved.
What causes truck accidents?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports the following truck accident scenarios as those that most often result in fatalities and injuries:
- Trucks hitting pedestrians.
- Collisions between a large truck and one or more smaller passenger vehicles.
- Loss of control of the truck due to tire blow out, vehicle failure, weather conditions or another factor.
- Animal in roadway.
- Drivers causing an accident due to general negligence, using a mobile phone, falling asleep behind the wheel, a medical emergency or another careless or reckless behavior.
Most Indiana truck accidents could have been prevented. Consult a lawyer if your injury resulted from negligence.