Where Is a Semi-Truck Accident Most Likely to Happen?
Due to the vast differences in size between large trucks and passenger automobiles, it is not surprising that crashes involving tractor-trailers and other large trucks can result in catastrophic injury and property damage. As a result, it is certainly advisable to exercise extreme caution when driving anywhere near a semi-truck. While we appreciate that most truck drivers are hard-working and careful, it’s indisputable that many Oregonians are injured by trucking company and truck driver negligence. In this article, we will examine some interesting and informative statistics on trucks, and provide some safety tips to protect yourself from danger.
Miles Driven by Large Trucks
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) maintains statistics on the safety and performance of large commercial trucks and buses. According to the FMCSA’s 2016 pocket guide, the following numbers of trucks and buses, which either conducted interstate operations or carried hazardous materials, were registered in the U.S:
- 8,328,759 straight trucks;
- 2,577,197 tractor-trailer trucks; and
- 872,027 buses.
Large trucks drove slightly more than 279 billion miles. Buses drove 16 billion miles. In 2013, trucks carried 14,547,000 tons of freight.
Large Truck Inspection Results
In 2015, State and Federal inspectors conducted 3,259,973 driver inspections, and found 1,041,642 violations. Inspectors conducted 2,318,264 vehicle inspections, and found a whopping 3,803,517 violations. By far, the greatest number of violations involved the driver’s log. While log deficiencies may sometimes result from simple recordkeeping neglect, these deficiencies may also indicate that the driver has not followed regulations requiring rest periods.
Truck-Related Crashes, Deaths, and Injuries
In February 2017, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released Traffic Safety Facts containing 2015 data. According to the NHTSA, in 2015 4,067 people were killed in truck crashes, and approximately 116,000 more were injured. The agency estimates that 433,000 large trucks had crashes which were reported to police.
When and Where Are Fatal Large Truck Accidents More Likely to Occur?
Interestingly, only 27 percent of fatal truck crashes occurred on interstates, indicating that 73 percent occurred on other roads and highways. Sixty-three percent of the crashes occurred in rural areas, and 37 percent occurred in urban areas. Seventy-eight percent of the crashes occurred on weekdays (between 6:00 a.m. Monday and 5:59 p.m. Friday) and 22 percent occurred on weekends (between 6:00 p.m. Friday and 5:59 a.m. Monday). Of the weekday crashes, 73 percent occurred during the day, and 27 percent occurred at night. However, with regard to the weekend crashes, 62 percent occurred at night.
What Can You Do to Protect Yourself from a Dangerous Truck Driver?
While this list is not intended to be exhaustive, here are a few things you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones:
- Make yourself visible to the truck driver – some accidents occur simply because the truck driver does not see the automobile crash victim. Do not tailgate a truck, and try to avoid driving in any of the truck driver’s blind spots.
- Leave lots of space – this address two issues: (1) trucks need a lot of room to maneuver; and (2) trucks cannot stop as quickly as cars. Never cut a truck off or pull in front of a truck unless there is ample room for the truck to stop in the event of an emergency. If you are near a truck that is backing or turning, exercise patience and allow the truck driver to complete his maneuver.
- Yield to trucks if it increases your safety to do so – in some circumstances an automobile driver may have the right of way, but can increase safety by yielding to a truck anyway. For example, if a truck wants to pass, make every effort to get out of its way. Similarly, allow trucks to merge easily. Never engage in any way with a truck driver who appears angry. Just stay out of the way.
Contact Us with Your Questions
If you have been involved in an accident with a tractor-trailer truck, please contact us with any questions or to schedule a free consultation. We believe that holding negligent drivers and trucking companies accountable for their actions protects all of society. We are happy to share with you our opinions based upon many years of semi-truck accident experience.