Truck Accident Statistics
One does not even have to travel very frequently to know that the roads in the United States are overcrowded. Among the cars, motorcycles, construction vehicles, and more, there are also an estimated 15.5 million trucks that travel the nation's highways on a daily basis. And it's no wonder, since nearly all products sold in this country spend some amount of time in a truck; the gross domestic product associated with trucking was $113 billion in 2009. Two million of trucks are "big rigs", large tractor trailers that are used to deliver a wide variety of goods and that often visit multiple locations during a single run.
In 2008, truck drivers and driver/sales workers numbered just over 3 million. Of these workers, 56 percent drove heavy trucks and tractor-trailers. The truck transportation industry, companies that haul freight for other companies, employed 27 percent of US truck drivers in the US. A similar number of drivers worked for companies involved in wholesale or retail trade.
While trucks are actually three times less likely than other vehicles on the roads to be in an accident, due to the sheer numbers there are more than a half-million accidents involving trucks in the US every year. Although trucks are involved in less than three percent of all car accidents that occur, the results can still be catastrophic. Every 16 minutes, someone is either injured or worse in a truck accident. The truck driver is the cause in less than a fifth of truck driving accidents, but that still accounts for substantial numbers. When you consider that 5,000 people die annually in truck accidents, and that nearly all result in the death of the other driver, it can be easily understood why a truck accident lawyer has such an important job.
The typical passenger car does not hold up so well when it collides with another vehicle many times its size. Drivers of cars and SUVs, statistically, do not have a high survival rate when an impact between their vehicles and a truck occurs. In 2008, for instance, 74 percent of people killed in crashes involving large trucks and other vehicles were occupants of the other vehicles. Similarly, 71 percent of the people injured were occupants of another vehicle. In that year in the US, 380,000 trucks with gross vehicle weight rating exceeding 10,000 pounds were involved in traffic crashes, with 4,229 people killed and another 90,000 were injured.
While they represent a small portion of total vehicle accidents, those involving trucks can ruin lives and are often fatal. If you've been injured in a truck accident, or a loved one was unfortunate enough to have their life come to an end as a result, a truck accident lawyer can help ensure that you are compensated adequately.
Bureau of Transportation Statistics, "Table 3-1a: U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Attributed to For-Hire Transportation Services", http://www.bts.gov/publications/national_transportation_statistics/html/table_03_01a.html (accessed March 15, 2011).
Trucking Info, "Trucking Statistics",http://www.truckinfo.net/trucking/stats.htm (accessed March 15, 2011).
United States Department of Labor, " Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition: Truck Drivers and Driver/Sales Workers", http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos246.htm (accessed March 15, 2011).
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "Traffic Safety Facts: 2008", http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811158.pdf (accessed March 15, 2011).