According to a 2009 survey from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, an astounding 10 percent of all fatal motor vehicle accidents involve large trucks. The truck accident rate is disproportionately high, considering that large trucks make up only about 3 percent of all registered vehicles.
To find the causes, two engineers from Kansas State University have combined information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration with their own research. The results are quite interesting.
For instance, the research shows nearly 78 percent of fatal truck crashes occur in the daylight, and with no obvious adverse weather conditions like rain or snow.
Perhaps less surprising, given the size difference between large trucks and passenger vehicles, is that 81 percent people killed were occupants of the other vehicles involved. Even so, in 73 percent of all accidents the truck drivers were found to be at least partially at fault.
The FMCSA survey also noted that 23 percent of accidents involving large trucks were rear-end collisions. This is a combination of a truck hitting another vehicle, a passenger vehicle rear-ending a truck and truck-into-truck accidents.
A more disturbing statistic from the FMCSA survey is that almost 18 percent of truck accidents are caused by either the truck moving out of its lane or leaving the road. An additional 10 percent were attributed to a sideswipe between a large truck and another vehicle going in the same direction.
With the busy summer travel season upon us, it is a good idea to give those big rigs some extra room. If you do get in an accident, a personal injury attorney can help you understand your rights.