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10 Shocking Truck Accident Statistics

According to a recent poll, 83% of Americans drive to work every day, putting them on the road with large trucks. Accidents and injuries from truck crashes are sometimes unavoidable, even with the many traffic laws and safety regulations that exist to protect drivers. While many car accidents with a standard passenger vehicle primarily damage the vehicles involved, large truck crashes can be much more devastating. Truck crashes can cause more significant harm due to the size of the vehicle involved and result in a large number of deaths each year. In this article, the Philadelphia truck accident attorneys at Cousin Benny have compiled ten of the most shocking truck accident statistics to help drivers make more informed decisions when sharing the road with large trucks.

What’s Considered A Large Truck?

A large truck is a vehicle that’s defined as medium or heavy, excluding motorhomes and buses. These trucks often weigh in at over 10,000 pounds and can be commercial or non-commercial vehicles.

How many people die in accidents involving large trucks each year?

According to, 2021 saw nearly six thousand people (5,788) die in fatal crashes that involved a large truck. That’s up 17%+ from 2020 and demonstrates a 47%+ increase over the last ten years.

What percent of fatal car crashes involved large trucks?

Sticking with the same data from 2021, large trucks were involved in 9% of all fatal crashes throughout the United States for the year. While this may not seem like a large percentage, roughly 72% of the people killed in these crashes were other drivers and not the truck occupants. This demonstrates how devastating truck crashes can be for other motorists, as truck drivers are usually protected better due to the sheer size of their vehicles.

What was the most common cause of truck-related accidents?

A tire defect can have devastating repercussions on the road. Whether it’s a complete blowout or retread tire that falls apart, these defects can put truck drivers and other vehicles in serious danger of fatal crashes. According to, 30% of truck-related accidents are caused by a tire defect, making them the most common cause of truck accidents. This is one of many reasons why it’s best to avoid large trucks on highways, as many tire defects occur at high speeds and make it difficult for other drivers to stop in time.

What percent of all DWI convictions belong to large truck drivers?

One enlightening statistic from the NHTSA shows that large-truck drivers have the lowest percentage of DWI convictions compared to other vehicle types involved in accidents (.9%). This is likely because most truck drivers drive their vehicles as an occupation, and any DWI convictions would result in their unemployment. Clearly, there are still some large-truck drivers with DWI convictions, but it pales in comparison to drivers of other vehicle types.

What time of day are large truck accidents most likely to occur?

While truck drivers often haul their freight through all hours of the day, data shows that the most precarious time for them and other motorists is the afternoon. 19% of accidents involving large trucks in the US occur between noon and 3 PM, likely due to increased traffic during lunch rush hours and the end of the workday for many people.

When do the majority of fatal large truck accidents occur on our roads?

Diving deeper into how the time of day contributes to truck accidents and semi-truck accidents, more than three-quarters of fatal crashes involving large trucks in 2020 occurred from Monday to Friday (76%). This is often due to the influx of drivers on the road during the work week.

In a given year, how many accidents can be attributed to drivers falling asleep at the wheel?

While most people are likely to attribute distracted or reckless driving to the vast majority of truck accidents, the NHTSA has evidence to support another factor. Data shows that a significant amount of annual truck accidents, roughly 100,000, are due to drowsy driving. This is a known issue for many truck drivers, as their strict deadlines and lengthy routes mean that they often lose sleep to meet their goals.

How much do other drivers on the road factor into accidents involving large trucks?

The American Truck Association (ATA) has spent years collecting data on accidents involving truck drivers, and it found that other large trucks do not cause the vast majority of accidents. According to the ATA’s data, non-truck drivers’ mistakes are to blame for about 80% of crashes involving large trucks. A significant portion of these truck and car accidents likely involves drivers that either follow too close to large trucks and rear-end them or stop suddenly in front of large trucks and get rear-ended.

In which state are large trucks most involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes?

When analyzing how each state matches up in terms of fatal crashes involving large trucks, Texas comes out with the highest amount. According to the NHTSA, Texas had 658 fatal truck crashes in 2020 alone. The states behind Texas are California, with 384 crashes involving large trucks, and Florida, at 351. While there is no definitive explanation as to why Texas had such an influx of fatal truck accidents, the sheer size of the state and the number of highways increases the likelihood of truck drivers navigating through it.

Injured in an accident involving a large truck? Contact The Experienced Car Accident Attorneys At Cousin Benny

If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, call an experienced truck accident lawyer at Cousin Benny for a free legal consultation. You deserve to be fairly compensated for the injuries you suffered. Our skilled attorneys will walk you through the claims process and fight tirelessly for the best possible financial outcome.

Benjamin Hoffman

Benjamin Hoffman is a practicing attorney licensed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey as well as the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Benjamin handles cases for individuals who have been injured as a result of an accident, slip/trip and fall or medical negligence.

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Benjamin Hoffman
Benjamin Hoffman is a practicing attorney licensed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey as well as the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Benjamin handles cases for individuals who have been injured as a result of an accident, slip/trip and fall or medical negligence.
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