Large trucks account for many fatalities when they are involved in accidents both in North Carolina and across the United States. In 2012, out of 1,747 fatal accidents that occurred in the state, 132 involved large trucks, accounting for 7.6 percent of all of the fatal accidents occurring for the year.
Nationwide, 3,921 people died in fatal collisions involving large trucks in 2012. Of those who died, 73 percent were occupying other vehicles at the time of the crashes. An additional 3 percent were vehicle nonoccupants, including pedestrians and cyclists. Truck occupants accounted for the remaining 24 percent of fatalities in such accidents. An additional 104,000 people suffered serious personal injuries in large truck accidents in 2012.
The statistics are sobering, especially when taking into account that large trucks made up only 4 percent of all vehicles registered for the year. Commercial trucks accounted for 9 percent of all miles traveled in 2012 and were involved in 8 percent of all fatal crashes and 3 percent of all injury collisions. Additionally, large trucks were more likely than were passenger vehicles to be involved in multiple-vehicle fatal collisions in 2012. In fact, 81 percent of large truck fatality crashes involved multiple vehicles.
Truck accidents can occur for many reasons. Some drivers simply become fatigued after driving long hours. Others may be distracted, failing to react in time to slowed traffic ahead of them. Still others commit driver errors when negotiating curves or changing lanes. In accidents that result from truck driver negligence, people who are injured may be able to recover damages from both the driver and the employer through a personal injury civil lawsuit. Damages may help to compensate injured plaintiffs for both their non-economic and economic losses.
Source: National Center for Statistics and Analysis, “Traffic Safety Facts – Large Trucks“, December 27, 2014