How deadly are collisions involving large trucks?

On Behalf of | Apr 7, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Sharing the road with a massive truck could make any passenger car driver anxious. This feeling is natural because one mistake could lead to a collision with a large truck, leading to severe damage.

Collisions involving large trucks caused 4,014 fatalities in 2020 alone. The odds in two-vehicle crashes involving large trucks are against passenger vehicles, with their occupants making up 97% of deaths.

In total, 10% of fatal motor vehicle accidents involved large trucks, while 21% of total fatalities in multivehicle collisions were occupants in passenger vehicles. These figures show how deadly large trucks can be.

Still, accidents involving large trucks are less common than passenger vehicle crashes. In 2020, data showed that the rate of fatal crashes involving truck drivers was 1.3 per 100 million miles. Meanwhile, passenger vehicle drivers had a higher rate of 1.6 per 100 million miles.

What can impact the risks of fatal truck accidents?

Various factors could contribute to any motor vehicle accidents. However, the following tend to increase the crash risks of big trucks:

  • Size: A truck’s massive size can easily cause severe damage. Also, trucks tend to sit higher with more ground clearance, making it easy for smaller vehicles to wedge underneath them at impact.
  • Fatigue: Truck drivers usually experience fatigue after staying behind the wheel for extended periods.
  • Braking distance: These large trucks are also long, requiring more braking distance to stop safely. They could also face difficulty braking on wet or slippery roads.

These risks are always present with big trucks. The government constantly enforces policies on shift hours and licensing to improve safety in the trucking industry. Industry leaders are also looking into advanced technology to help mitigate crash risks and make roads safer for everyone.