How many big rig accidents happen each year?

How many big rig accidents happen each year?

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Did you know that a person is killed or seriously injured every 15 minutes in a collision caused by tractor trailers (also known as semi-trucks,18-wheelers, or big rigs)? In fact, around 500,000 trucking accidents occur in the United States every year, with roughly 5,000 resulting in fatality. 

Truck accidents involving massive trucks and commercial vehicles often inflict more destruction than any other form of motor vehicle accident due to their size and weight. Truck accident victims are more likely to sustain serious injuries, including death. 

Broken bones, neck and back injuries, head trauma, whiplash injury, internal hemorrhage, and spinal cord damage are all examples of injuries resulting from truck accidents. These injuries need urgent medical care and, in some cases, numerous procedures, which can be prohibitively expensive.

The Rising Number of Big Rig Mishaps


Between 2009 and 2019, the number of fatal truck collisions in the United States reached an all-time high in 2018.

The number of such fatalities that year was estimated to be around 4,164. Likewise, 2019 saw nearly as many fatal truck collisions with a total of 4,119.

Official data and semi-truck accident statistics for 2020 and 2021 have yet to be released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

In comparison to 2018, the number of people injured in heavy truck crashes increased by 5% in 2019.

In 2018, 151,000 persons were injured in heavy truck accidents, and that number increased to 159,000 in 2019. 

In 2019, 69 percent of the injured people were passengers in other vehicles, 29 percent were passengers in +, and 3 percent were nonoccupants. – National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

According to 2019 truck accident statistics, there were 7,000 more large truck accidents than the previous year.

In other words, in the United States in 2019, there were around 538,000 big rig crashes reported to the police. On the other hand, there were around 531,000 heavy truck accidents recorded to the police in 2018, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

According to preliminary forecasts, approximately 4,895 heavy truck fatalities will occur in 2020. In comparison, there were around 5,005 similar deaths in 2019. As a result, the number of fatalities involving big rigs has decreased by about 2% between these two years.

What Causes So Many Big Rig Collisions?


Mechanical failures are at blame for 30% of all truck accidents.

The FMCSA’s Large Truck Crash Causation Study revealed that mechanical faults (most commonly with tires), new travel routes, and weariness are the leading causes of truck crashes.

According to big rig accident statistics, aggressive driving is responsible for 5% of all truck accidents.

 The term “aggressive driving” refers to driving a vehicle in a way that puts people or property in danger or has a high chance of doing so. Speeding, swerving, tailgating, hard braking, showing anger, lane obstruction, or honking needlessly are all examples of this.

Each year, 100,000 vehicle accidents are caused by sleep deprivation.


Sleep deprivation is another factor that contributes to truck accidents. Drowsy drivers are responsible for about 40,000 crash-related injuries and 1,500 fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) truck driver injury data.

The truck’s speed and stopping distance are also factors in tractor trailer accidents.

Due to their immense weight, tractor-trailer vehicles require a longer stopping distance than passenger vehicles. Speed, driver fatigue, and mechanical soundness all contribute to the stopping time, which is one of the most common causes of these collisions.

Eighty percent of big rig accidents are caused by cars.

Cars cause these collisions by merging into traffic improperly, turning left in front of trucks, and moving in front of trucks at intersections. 

The most prevalent cause, however, is a misunderstanding of a truck’s capabilities, such as being ignorant of the limits on how trucks pick up speed and the driver’s visibility.

Contact us

If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, you could be struggling with years of painful suffering and mounting medical bills. As a result, you’ll need the assistance of an experienced, trustworthy, and proven attorney to ensure you get all of the financial recompense you need to make a full recovery.

Call The  Zucker Law Firm at (951) 699-2100. We offer free consultations and case reviews to talk about your accident and legal options.

The accident lawyers at The Zucker Law Firm in Temecula offer legal services exclusively in the areas of personal injury and wrongful death.

How many big rig accidents happen each year?
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