According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in 2018 there were 121,000 truck or bus crashes which resulted in injury. Of those accidents, 5,096 involved in fatal crashes.
It’s impossible to predict if the next time you get behind the wheel of a car you’ll be involved in an accident with a commercial truck or bus. However, there is an extensive amount of data collected about car and truck crashes that helps determine what conditions accidents involving large trucks are likely to occur.
So when and where do most accidents involving large trucks occur?
Following is a summary of fatalities and injuries involving crashes with large trucks as reported in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s 2018 crash data.
Where Commercial Truck Accidents Happen
Although the fewest number of people live in rural areas, rural fatalities accounted for the highest percentage of fatalities, with speed being a factor. Rural roads accounted for 63% of fatalities, while urban roads accounted for 37%.
When Commercial Truck Accidents Occur
Most fatalities involving large trucks occurred Monday –Friday (83%) between 6am-6pm(64%). This is likely due to the fact that many large trucks make deliveries during weekday hours. The highest number of fatalities occurred between the hours of 12-3pm, with the least between 12am-3am.
Under What Conditions to Accidents Occur
Speed Limit: Most fatalities, 33%, occurred when the posted speed limit was between 50-55 mph, with 60-65 mph being second at 21%.
Traffic Flow: 49% of fatalities and 32% of injury crashes happened on two-way roads, not divided.
Weather Conditions: 66% of fatal crashes and 71% of injury crashes occurred on clear days, with no rain, sleet, snow, fog or other weather related obstructions.
Road Conditions: 82% of fatal crashes and 79% of injury crashes occurred on dry roads that weren’t icy, snowy, muddy or wet.
When a large truck crashes into a passenger vehicle, the injuries are often catastrophic. We see multiple broken bones, compound fractures, spinal injuries, traumatic brain injuries, paralysis and death. Professional representation is needed when dealing with truck wreck injury claims.
Whenever traveling, please be aware of your surroundings and give large trucks plenty of space. Again, you can’t predict an accident, but you can be aware of when most accidents occur and take extra precautions to stay safe in those conditions.
If you’ve been injured in a crash involving a semi-truck you should contact a personal injury lawyer to ensure that you are fully compensated for your injuries. Accidents with tractor-trailers often require a thorough investigation that a truck lawyer is experienced with handling. Take time to read my previous blog post to see what the difference is between an ordinary car accident and one involving a large truck. If you’ve been injured in an accident with a semi-truck or other large truck please call our office for a free consultation.
Safety Tips to Follow to Help Prevent Being Involved in a Tractor-Trailer Accident
Although we can’t avoid driving on roads with large trucks, we can keep ourselves safer by knowing a few statistics and following some safety tips:
The Georgia DOT keeps track of the average number of trucks travelling throughout the state of Georgia.
- Most large trucks in Georgia travel along I-75 and I-285 in Atlanta.
- In Bibb County, on average, over 9,100 trucks will travel the short stretch of I-475 each day. That’s over 379 trucks per hour.
- Most accidents involving large trucks happen Monday thru Friday during daytime hours.
- If possible, we should avoid roads with heavily populated trucks during peak accident hours.
- Don’t follow large trucks too closely. If you can’t see a truck’s side mirrors, the truck driver can’t see you.
- Do not try to pass a truck on the right side when that truck is turning right. Trucks must swing wide to the left in order to make a right turn. They may not see you if you’re passing them on the right.
- To properly pass a large truck or bus on the highway, accelerate slightly and maintain a consistent speed. Wait until you see the entire cab in your rearview mirror before you signal and pull over.
- Don’t cut in front of a truck or bus. Large trucks and buses need more distance to stop. If you cut in front of a truck, the truck may not be able to stop in time or may be forced to stop too quickly, resulting in a serious or fatal accident.