The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) defines a “large truck,” also known as a semi-truck or big rig, as a truck that has a gross vehicle weight of 10,000 pounds or more. A truck of this nature can carry a load that weights upwards to an additional 70,000 more without obtaining special clearance. The average automobile clocks in at 2,000 pounds. Looking at weight alone, a car is no match for an empty large truck, let alone one that is carrying a load.
With these basic facts in mind, a motorist is well-served, having an awareness of essential statistics related to large truck or big rig accidents. The FMCSA maintains data regarding semi-truck accidents in the United States. 2015 is the last year for which the governmental agency has collected and analyzed a complete set of statistics for a 12-month period.
Across the United States, about 415,000 large truck accidents were reported to police in 2015. During the same time period, a total of just over 24,200 large truck accidents were reported in the state of Texas, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. Virtually all semi-truck accidents in the United States, including Texas, involve a collision with a passenger car.
There were 3,598 fatal large truck accidents in the United States in 2015. Some of these accidents resulted in multiple fatalities. Deaths were nearly always attributed to drivers and passengers in automobiles. Big rig drivers rarely are killed in collisions with passenger cars.
428 fatal large truck accidents occurred in Texas during the same time period. As is the case nationally, some of these collisions involved multiple fatalities. Big rig drivers were rarely killed in large truck and passenger automobile collisions.
80,000 large truck accidents across the country resulted in injuries. In most accidents, the injuries sustained were serious and required hospitalization. Although big rig drivers were injured in accidents, automobile drivers and passengers nearly always sustained far more serious injuries in collisions with large trucks. Rear-end crashes are the most common type of 18-wheeler accidents.
810 motorists in Texas required hospitalization for serious injuries following big rig accidents. 2,221 individuals sustained less serious injuries, including those who did go to a hospital emergency department but did not require anything beyond an overnight stay in a medical center. Almost 3,100 people may have sustained injuries but declined immediate medical treatment or assistance.
To speak with a big rig accident injury attorney in Houston, call us at 281-893-0760 for a no-obligation consultation on your rights and options.