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Government study finds increase in truck injuries and fatalities

On Behalf of | Apr 17, 2024 | Truck Accidents |

Large trucks play a significant role in the U.S. economy. Still, these vehicles are also a significant factor in collisions and fatalities on the roads in Connecticut and beyond. Unfortunately, the National Safety Council’s analysis of current data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveals some alarming statistics regarding large trucks’ effect on road safety.

Fatalities numbers are up

In 2021, there were 5,700 large trucks involved in fatal crashes, marking an 18% increase from the previous year and a 49% increase between 2010 and 2020. The involvement rate per 100 million large-truck miles traveled also saw a 7% rise from 2020 and a 22% increase over the past ten years. Large trucks accounted for 9% of all vehicles involved in fatal crashes despite making up only 5% of all registered vehicles and 10% of total vehicle miles traveled.

Moreover, in 2021, 117,300 large trucks were involved in crashes resulting in injuries, reflecting a 12% increase from 2020. Since 2016, the number of trucks involved in injury crashes has risen by 15%, with the involvement rate per 100 million large truck miles driven increasing by three percentage points to 36%.

Tragically, a total of 5,788 people died in large-truck crashes in 2021, representing a 17% increase from the previous year and a 47% increase over the last decade. The majority of deaths in these crashes were occupants of other vehicles (72%), followed by truck occupants (17%) and people not in vehicles (11%).

Injuries are also up

In terms of injuries, there were 155,000 people injured in crashes involving large trucks in 2021, marking a 5% increase from the previous year. Similar to fatalities, most injuries occurred to occupants of other vehicles (71%), followed by truck occupants (27%) and such non-occupants as pedestrians and bicyclists (2%).

Other key statistics

The data also reveals other details that may surprise some:

  • More than half of fatal large-truck crashes occurred on rural roads, with about a quarter on interstates.
  • 63% of the crashes happened during daylight hours
  • 6% occurred in construction zones.
  • September was identified as the peak month for fatal truck crashes, with the summer months also ranking high.
  • February had the fewest crashes.

Maybe these stats are not a surprise

Overall, the statistics underscore the pressing need for improved safety measures and stricter regulations to address the rising number of accidents involving large trucks. Unfortunately, changes will come too late for crash victims and their families. Victims can still contact a personal injury attorney with experience handling the complex challenges involved in truck-related lawsuits.