What Causes Large Truck Crashes?

The good news is that the number of large truck crashes is down significantly over the last decade. U.S. Department of Transportation released a study earlier this year that analyzed statistical data on large truck crashes between 2001 and 2010. The numbers are encouraging but hard to ignore.

In 2010 there were over 3,200 large truck fatal crashes – that’s almost 9 crashes per day where someone has lost their life. Assuming at least one fatality, more people die in truck fatalities each year than on 9/11. And 2010 was a good year compared to the previous nine years.

What causes these crashes exactly?

Rain is the most cited factor in truck crashes, followed by other adverse weather conditions. Together, weather makes up 14% of all large truck crashes.

Passenger vehicle collisions with large trucks account for majority of collisions. Over 91% of passenger vehicles result in fatalities and 94% in injuries. As you can see, the odds of surviving a crash with a large truck are very slim.

Crashes that involve passenger vehicle crossing the center line in a head-on situation make up 87% of collisions. It is not clear as to what the cause of these crossing is from the study.

In rear-end situations, passenger vehicles are responsible for over 75% of crashes while just fewer than 25% involve rear-ending by the large truck. This indicates that the passenger vehicle may have been traveling too close and going too fast, which seems like a sensible statement considering qualifications large truck drivers must possess to operate such vehicles.

It turns out that construction areas and maintenance / work zones sustain over 20% of all fatal truck crashes. It is no surprise to a truck accident lawyer that road worker families suffer tremendous losses when their loved ones chose such a dangerous profession.

Seeing how over 60% of fatal crashes involved semi-trailers, it should come as an obvious warning to drive with extra caution around large trucks. Due to the sheer weight of these vehicles, it is much harder for them to react timely to an adverse condition on the road. (Photo by Rob Swystun)

Large Truck Crashes

What Causes Large Truck Crashes? by