The Department of Transportation routinely conducts studies to evaluate opportunities to improve safety on our roadways by 18-wheeler drivers and trucking companies. One such study evaluated large truck crash cases and came up with an overview of the truck accidents.
Every year thousands of people die and tens of thousands of people or injured in 18-wheeler accidents. The vast majority of those injured or killed are the other motorists involved in the accident with a large truck. Only 14% of the fatal accidents covered in the study involved deaths of the large truck occupants.
Some of the more interesting findings of the study include:
- 3% of the professional drivers of large trucks involved in a fatal accident had a blood alcohol reading.
- 82% of the truck drivers were wearing their seatbelt at the time of the accident
- Fatal crashes appear to be on a slow decline over the years
- Driver related factors for large trucks were reported at 34%
- Large trucks account for approximately 10% of all the vehicle miles traveled the United States
- 62% of large truck fatal crashes involved tractor-trailers
- 2 to 3% of crashes involve large trucks carrying hazardous materials
The top five driver related factors for large trucks involved in fatal crashes are:
- Distraction or inattention
- Failure to keep in the proper lane
- Vision obscured and
- Failure to yield right-of-way
The most important vehicle related findings from the studies indicate that brakes and tires of the large trucks accounted for more than half of the vehicle related crash factors that were considered after the accident.