In the latest figures to be released by the US DOT, there were over 104,000 people injured in accidents involving big trucks. Almost 4000 people were killed in those accidents.
Fatal truck accidents actually showed an increase from preceding years, which is probably due to the increase of miles driven by the 18-wheelers.
While gross vehicle weight for the figures is listed at greater than 10,000 pounds, most tractor-trailers way in the range of 60,000 pounds and the disparity in weight accounts for the large percentage of serious injury and fatalities when a crash occurs.
Additionally, big rigs are much more likely to be involved in multivehicle fatal crashes then passenger cars on a per mileage basis. One surprising factor of this study was that in 2012 a big truck was much more likely to be struck in the rear than a passenger car when considering to vehicle fatal accidents.
The federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations provide specific guidelines in the hiring and training of truck drivers. For this reason, truck drivers were more likely to have less serious traffic infractions then a typical passenger car driver. But also truckers are more likely to have been involved in a prior wreck.
Texas accounts for 14.3% of all fatal truck accident of the entire United States of America. Within Texas, big trucks account for almost 12% of all crash fatalities within the state.
All in all, there is no getting around the fact that tractor-trailers because of their weight and size are extremely dangerous to motorist around the big rigs. The odds of walking away after getting struck by an 18 – Wheeler at highway speeds are not good at all.
It is for that reason that the federal regulations must be strengthened and resources provided to enforce the rules and regulations. Keeping trucking companies and truck drivers operating safely simply protects our community.