Denver Tractor Trailer Accident Statistics

Tractor Trailer Accident

Written by Jeremy D. Earle, JD

February 11, 2023

Top Rated Denver Truck Accident Law Firm

Accidents involving semi-trucks by the Numbers

Any form of car collision has the potential to be fatal for any of the persons involved. On the other hand, Tractor-trailer collisions are known to produce the most significant injuries to those involved. Trucks move more than 63 percent of products across the United States and Mexico every day.

That translates to thousands of hours of driving time for truckers throughout the country, and more than eleven people are killed in truck accidents every day during those thousands of hours.

The Trucking Business

The trucking sector serves as a critical link between products providers and sellers all around the nation. The United States produces a wide variety of items in various concentrated places, with industrial companies and farms generating a wide range of products required throughout the country. Tractor-trailers assist in getting things to where they are needed and desired.

Statistics on Semi-Truck Accidents

Every year, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issues a report on motor car accidents, including truck accidents. According to the findings of this year’s report:

In 2017, around 5,000 individuals were killed in truck accidents.

About 125,000 big trucks and buses were involved in collisions resulting in casualties in 2016.

About 180,000 individuals were injured in collisions involving huge cars or buses.

In 2016, heavy trucks and buses were involved in around 418,000 accidents that solely resulted in property damage.

In 2017, 372 pedestrians and 76 cyclists were killed in car and bus accidents.

In fatal accidents involving large trucks, 2.5 percent of drivers had more blood alcohol content (BAC).08 percent. In those fatal collisions, 3.6 percent of the drivers had more than blood alcohol content (BAC).01 percent.

It’s worth noting that more than 12,000,000 trucks and buses were registered in 2016. Most of them arrived at their destinations without creating any accidents, much alone ones that resulted in injuries. However, when large cars cause accidents, the victims often suffer significant injuries.

A variety of factors may cause truck accidents. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association, most truck accidents fall into one of three categories:

Leaving the lane in which the car should be traveling (approximately 32 percent)

Car loss of control due to several factors, including speeding, driving at excessive speeds for the present road conditions—even if the speed limit suggests a safe pace to travel—and car system failure (29 percent)

Collisions with the back of the car (22 percent)

Statistics on the Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents

Other variables might play a role in any of these sorts of accidents. Other drivers may fail to pay attention to the road, whether by driving distracted or failing to see the demands of truck drivers in their vicinity. Truck drivers and other drivers may be exhausted, impaired by drugs and/or alcohol, or fail to observe the regulations of the road.

Any of these factors might raise the likelihood of a truck collision. If a driver does not know the road well, they are more likely to be involved in an accident. Congestion or other unplanned circumstances, such as other accidents on the road, may further raise the chance of an accident. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association’s sample:

Brake difficulties were implicated in 29% of all accidents.

Speeding was involved in 23% of accidents.

Drivers on unknown roads were involved in 22% of accidents.

Roadway issues were implicated in 20% of accidents.

Prescription medication usage by the driver was found in 17% of accidents.

In 14% of accidents, the driver failed to maintain proper monitoring.

Driver drowsiness was a factor in 13% of accidents.

A commercial driver who felt work pressure from his or her carrier, such as pressure to drive despite weariness or pressure to meet deadlines, was involved in 10% of accidents.

In 9 percent of car accidents, the driver, performed an unlawful move.

Before an accident, 8% of drivers were distracted by external factors.

Tire faults were found in 6% of the cars, contributing to the collision.

5% of drivers were following too closely.

A cargo shift was found in 4% of cars involved in accidents, causing the truck’s balance to be thrown off.

At the time of the collision, 3% of the drivers were unwell.

At the time of the collision, 2% of drivers were under the influence of illicit narcotics.

1% of drivers were under the influence of alcohol at the time of the collision.

This tiny sample, which includes about 963 collisions involving 1,123 big trucks and 959 non-large truck motor cars, provides insight into the causes of truck accidents. Other drivers on the road may be able to assist avoid or lessening the likelihood of a truck collision in several instances. In some circumstances, truck drivers may lessen their chances of being involved in an accident. However, in many circumstances, drivers cannot completely prevent truck accidents: tire failures, braking difficulties, road troubles, and cargo changes may all occur without notice, leaving drivers unsure of how to react.

Semi-Truck Accident Statistics: Trends

Truck accidents rose in 2016 and 2017, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s report for 2019. The number of heavy trucks involved in fatal accidents grew to 4,657 in 2017, up from just 4,251 in 2016. According to miles driven, the proportion of trucks involved in fatal accidents rose by 6%.

In 2016, more than 145,000 persons were seriously injured in truck accidents, much greater than the number of casualties recorded in prior years. Truck accidents are on the increase, and many individuals have to live with the consequences of their injuries.

Understanding Semi-Truck Accidents: Why Are Semi-Trucks at a Higher Risk of Being in an Accident?

Every day, truck drivers spend endless hours on the road. Before earning their license to operate tractor-trailers, they must complete considerable training, and they have considerably more experience than many other drivers on the road.

On the other hand, truck drivers have considerable challenges that might raise the likelihood of an accident on the road. Some of these challenges are highlighted below.

Trucks are substantially heavier than passenger cars. The weight of a truck varies depending on the load and the kind of car. On the other hand, Trucks may weigh up to 40 tons, although the typical passenger car weighs just 2.5 tons. As a result, trucks need substantially more stopping space than a typical passenger car.

Unfortunately, many drivers are unaware of trucks’ higher stopping demands, and as a result, they may dash in front of them without giving enough stopping space. Even in the best of circumstances, truck drivers may find it difficult to respond quickly enough to avoid accidents.

Truck drivers are more likely than other drivers to spend more time on the road. Truck drivers are allowed to travel for up to eight hours without stopping, and they are allowed to drive for 11 hours out of a 14-hour duty shift. Despite exhaustion or wavering attention, many truck drivers remain on the road. 

Trucks have greater bulk than passenger cars, so they may struggle to pay attention to everything going on around them or lack complete concentration on the road after those hours. They need more space to move and travel on highways meant for passenger cars rather than tractor-trailers. As a consequence, trucks may take longer to travel. 

Truck drivers drive for a livelihood. Thus impatience combined with an inability to comprehend their demands may raise the likelihood of a tractor-trailer accident. Many people get paid by the mile. Truck drivers may take risks to maximize the miles they may travel in a typical work shift.

Other truck drivers may be forced to work unwell, wounded, or exhausted from other activities before their duty shifts. They are not compensated if they do not work, making driving in these circumstances necessary for many.

The typical truck driver gets very little training on large cars. Most drivers have minimal knowledge about huge trucks on the road, from the amount of space they need to the time it takes them to stop. Unfortunately, when drivers fail to provide appropriate patience and space for trucks, this misinformation dramatically increases the chance of an accident.

Trucks are more likely to cause major harm. Trucks are substantially heavier than the ordinary passenger car, and many passenger cars are vulnerable to them. Passengers in such cars may suffer more severe injuries as a consequence.

Don’t become a statistic in a semi-truck accident.

With the number of major injuries and deaths in truck accidents increasing, you’ll want to avoid becoming a statistic if at all feasible. Big trucks continue to clog the highways, and you should take the simple safety steps outlined here to keep yourself safe.

Keep an eye out for blind areas. If you’ve ever driven a big car, such as a truck or van, you’re aware that blind spots may make seeing other cars moving around you difficult. Much if drivers exercise extreme caution, tractor-trailers have even greater blind areas, resulting in catastrophic accidents.

Look for the truck driver’s mirrors if you have to travel alongside or behind a tractor-trailer. If you can’t see yourself in the mirror, the driver can’t see you either. Avoid sitting in a truck’s blind area if at all feasible.

Accelerate to go ahead so they can see you if required, or slow your pace, so you fall behind them. If you have to drive alongside a truck, be aware of traffic patterns and the car’s movements.

Do not pull over in front of a tractor-trailer without warning. Tractor-trailers need greater stopping space than other cars. Pulling over in front of one and prompting the motorist to slam on the brakes might result in an accident.

Even if the truck misses you, the trailer’s driver might lose control and create a jackknife catastrophe. Plan your moves appropriately, keeping in mind that trucks need substantially more space to stop than the ordinary passenger car.

Be aware of truck drivers on the road. Truck drivers must be able to make large turns. If they are crammed into too small a space, they may cause an accident or get trapped, increasing the risk of accidents down the road. If you notice a truck driver indicating to turn, double-check that they have enough area to do so.

Avoid crowding oneself next to them since this might result in an accident. If you observe a truck driver who seems tired or drunk, pull over to the side of the road and call the cops. Don’t attempt to run him down yourself, even if you think a truck driver’s driving is risky.

Practice patience. When they have to share the road with a tractor-trailer, many drivers grow irritated immediately. They probably want to go on with their day as quickly as possible, but the truck’s presence may make that impossible.

However, if you’re sharing the road with a tractor-trailer, be patient. The truck driver, like you, probably wants to go on with his or her day, but no one wants to get hurt in an accident, which will take up even more of your time.

Maintain a safe distance. Just as you should avoid driving in a truck’s blind area for lengthy periods, you should also avoid coming up directly on a truck driver’s bumper. During a collision, a smaller car might be forced beneath a truck.

If you go too near a truck, the driver may reverse into you without realizing it. Pay special caution on steep inclines when the possibility of a car rolling backward rises.

Recognize the appropriate signals. When you flash your lights at truck drivers who need to change lanes, you’re indicating that there’s enough area for them to do so. A truck driver flashing his or her lights, on the other hand, indicates that you may safely maneuver in front of him. Communication with truck drivers on the road in a safe manner helps to keep everyone safe.

Learn how to pass safely. Getting stopped behind a large truck may aggravate drivers, particularly those in a rush to go somewhere. However, zipping around a car and darting directly in front of it would almost certainly result in an accident. Pass carefully instead, leaving enough distance behind you for a car to slow or stop if required.

After a tractor-trailer accident, you’ll need a lawyer.

If you were injured in a tractor-trailer accident, you might need legal assistance in obtaining full compensation for your injuries. Warrior Truck Accident Lawyers Accident Injury Lawyers can assist you in calculating the amount of compensation you should seek by calling 719-300-1100 or contacting us online.

We have offices in Denver, St. Petersburg, Denver, and Denver for your convenience. We have assisted many previous clients in resolving their truck accidents, from negotiating with insurance companies to assisting them in taking their claims to court.

Warrior Car Accident Lawyers

1902 W. Colorado Ave., Suite 100

Colorado Springs, CO 80904


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