How Common Are Truck Accidents?

Truck accidents are fairly common, with thousands occurring every year.

Understanding how common truck accidents are requires looking at the relatively small percentage of traffic these larger commercial vehicles comprise. Based on Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) data from 2018, National Safety Council (NSC) shows that tractor-trailer trucks make up only four percent of all registered vehicles. However, these trucks play a role in more than nine percent of all fatal collisions.

Injury crashes and property damage collisions are more common than fatal collisions, which leaves us with hundreds of thousands of crashes involving trucks every year.

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Commercial Vehicle Crashes Are Common in the U.S.

According to the most recent statistics available from the FMCSA, in 2018 alone, there were trucks involved in:

  • 4,862 fatal crashes in the U.S.
  • Approximately 112,000 injury crashes nationwide
  • About 414,000 property damage collisions across the country

More than 4,000 deaths may not seem like a lot when you consider that there were 33,654 fatal traffic collisions in the U.S. in 2018. However, remember that large commercial vehicles such as 18-wheelers are only four percent of vehicles on the road.

Fatal Truck Collisions Rarely Take the Life of the Truck Driver

When considering the question, “how common are truck accidents?”, it is also important to consider the outcome of these collisions. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), 4,136 people died in 2018 as a result of crashes involving large trucks. The majority of these victims were occupants of smaller vehicles traveling nearby or sharing the road with tractor-trailer trucks. Only 16% were truck drivers or other occupants of these commercial vehicles.

About fifteen percent were pedestrians or were riding a bicycle or motorcycle at the time of the collision. The rest, more than two-thirds (67 percent), were drivers or passengers in cars, SUVs, vans, or smaller trucks when the crash took place.

These statistics outline how dangerous truck crashes can be. Tractor-trailers are much larger and heavier than passenger vehicles. They take longer to stop, have significant blind spots, and require the utmost concentration, focus, and care to operate safely. When a truck driver gets distracted, is tired, or becomes careless, others usually suffer the consequences.

How Tractor-Trailer Crashes Happen

The majority of truck collisions occur in a relatively small number of ways. According to the IIHS and HLDI report regarding truck collisions in 2018:

  • Nearly a third of fatal truck crashes occurred when the truck collided with another vehicle head-on
  • Almost a quarter occurred in side-impact or side-struck crashes
  • 23% were rear-end collisions, usually occurring when the passenger vehicle ran into the rear of the truck

Other types of collisions comprise only twenty-two percent of the total truck crashes involving at least two vehicles in 2018.

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Developing a Claim Based on Your Truck Crash

If you were a victim of a truck collision on Long Island or elsewhere in or around New York City and you suffered serious injuries, you may be able to hold the truck driver and their employer, or another responsible party liable. The best option for learning more about your case’s strength and the possibility of pursuing damages outside of your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) no-fault insurance coverage is to speak with a law firm that handles these cases. The lawyers at Rosenberg & Gluck, L.L.P. are available to speak to you about your case.

An attorney may be able to help you secure financial recovery based on your collision case. This could include paying for medical bills, covering your missed paychecks, and more, including pain and suffering damages unavailable through a no-fault claim.

Generally, victims of truck collisions have up to three years from the date of the crash and their injuries to file suit under New York Civil Practice Law and Rules (CVP) §214. There are exceptions to this statute of limitations, though. Some exceptions could extend how long you have to file a claim, but others dramatically decrease how long you can wait before taking action.

Speak to Our Team About Your Truck Collision Case for Free

The truck crash team from Rosenberg & Gluck, L.L.P. will evaluate your case and explain your options during a complimentary consultation. We represent truck collision victims hurt in crashes in Suffolk or Nassau counties or other parts of the greater New York metropolitan area and New York State generally.

We handle commercial vehicle collision cases based on contingency, so our clients never need to pay attorney fees upfront. We receive fees only if you receive a payout for your injuries. Call us today for a free case review at (631) 994-1910. We can also assist clients in Spanish if needed. Se Habla Espanol.


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