The commercial trucking industry is responsible for delivering 71% of all freight in the United States annually. On top of that, this $700 billion industry is also responsible for employing 5% of all full-time employees.
While the trucking industry is the backbone of delivery systems, commercial trucks also pose a variety of dangers to other people on the roads, including passenger vehicle occupants, pedestrians, motorcyclists, and cyclists.
Because large trucks have a higher gross vehicle weight when compared to passenger vehicles, crashes involving large trucks are often devastating or fatal. Passenger vehicles simply cannot withstand the intense impact of a commercial truck, leaving those involve seriously wounded or dead.
Statistics on Accidents Involving Commercial Trucks
Depending on the state, commercial truck accidents may be more or less common. In rural areas with a less dense population, accidents may be more common. However, in cities and more densely packed areas, truck accidents may actually occur less frequently.
U.S. Truck Accident Statistics
In the United States, truck accidents accounted for 10% of all vehicles involved in fatal crashes in 2019. They also accounted for 4% of all registered vehicles, and 7% of total vehicle miles traveled.
In the same year, just over 120,000 large commercial trucks were involved in crashes that resulted in injury. This number has only been on the incline, increasing steadily from 60,000 in 2009.
A large percent of injured parties in accidents involving large trucks are other vehicle occupants. After that, the second most common injuries are to truck accident occupants.
When it comes to location, the majority of accidents occurred in rural areas as opposed to urban areas, at 56.65%. 74.91% of accidents took place on non-interstate roads and 64.12% of accidents took place during the daytime.
The most common month for accidents involving large trucks in September, with 456 fatal crashes occurring during that month and the least (297) occurring in February.
Minnesota Truck Accident Statistics
In the state of Minnesota in 2019, there were 5,369 total truck accidents that resulted in 56 fatalities and 1,431 injuries.
Most fatal accidents (8) occurred in June. And most accidents in general occurred on Mondays, with weekdays being more popular overall. Most fatal Minnesota accidents occurred on U.S. and Minnesota Highways.
What’s interesting is that Minnesota statistics don’t add up to the rest of the country. In the United States, most accidents occur on non-interstate roads in September, but in Minnesota, most accidents occurred on interstate roads in the month of June.
Statistics for Truck vs. Car Accidents
While truck accidents are more severe, there are more car accidents and car accident fatalities that occur each year.
In the United States, there are a total of 6 million car accidents each year, with approximately 37,000 fatalities. That means that about .62% of car accidents result in fatalities.
With truck accidents, there were approximately 120,000 in 2019, with 4,119 fatalities occurring because of those accidents. That means that 3.43% of truck accidents result in death, almost six times more deadly than car accidents.
Causes of Truck Accidents
There are many reasons for truck accidents, and they can be the fault of many different parties. Truck accident causes include:
- Distracted driving doesn’t just include texting or talking on the phone, although it is a large portion of it. Distracting driving can also include eating, drinking, grabbing something from the floor, looking for directions, or any distraction that takes one’s eyes off the road.
- Driving while intoxicated or under the influence is incredibly dangerous and can cause accidents to occur as the driver can easily lose their defensive driving skills, critical thinking skills, and decision-making ability.
- Fatigued or exhausted driving is common amongst truck drivers and can be the fault of both the truck driver and the trucking company. When a driver is tired they may lose their ability to react quickly, which would cause an accident.
- Inexperienced drivers or drivers that haven’t received enough training or don’t have enough experience could easily cause an accident, as they haven’t learned defensive driving skills and they may not know how to quickly react in order to prevent an accident from occurring.
How often are truck accidents fatal?
Truck accidents are fatal about 3.4% of the time, which doesn’t seem like a lot. However, when compared to the rate of car accident fatalities (.62%) this number seems astronomical.
Who can be held liable for truck accidents?
There are many parties that can be held liable in the case of a large truck accident. Those parties include:
- Truck Driver: In the case of driver negligence, such as texting while driving, driving under the influence, or speeding, the driver may be liable for the accident.
- Trucking Company: If the accident occurred because the driver was exhausted or fatigued because they were over-scheduled past legal limits, the trucking company could be liable. The trucking company could also be liable if the accident occurred because of a safety issue, such as brakes giving out, as it’s their responsibility to make sure the trucks are safe and drivable.
- Manufacturer: Occasionally truck accidents may occur because of manufacturing issues or defective parts. For example, if a part gave out for no reason, the manufacturer could be liable. In the case that a recall was sent out, the company could be liable for not replacing the part in time.
- Truck Owner: In some instances, trucks are rented out by trucking companies. In this case, the truck owner is responsible for all maintenance. Therefore, they could be liable if the truck wasn’t properly maintained.
- Loaders: Trucks must be loaded a certain way to prevent roll-over or other dangerous accidents. If a truck is improperly loaded, an accident could occur, in which case the loaders could be liable.
When to contact a Minnesota Truck Accident Attorney
You should contact a Minnesota truck accident attorney after you’ve been injured in a truck accident. Once you’ve left the scene of the accident and received medical care, you should start to think about contacting an attorney.
An attorney will ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve in the form of a settlement or a trial win. They will also check in with you to make sure you’re getting the medical care you need. In general, they will work to take the stress off your shoulders so you can focus on relaxing and recovering.
For more information or a free case evaluation, please contact our talented team our attorneys here at Sand Law. Please contact us online, by using our chat box option, or by calling us at 651-291-7263.