Driving a car can be a mundane task that most people face daily, but it only takes a moment for something to go wrong and the results can be life-changing. Danger often lurks despite precautions taken on downtown streets, rural roads, and interstate highways. This is especially true when drivers share the road with large trucks.
They are called by many names: tractor trailers, eighteen wheelers, and semi-trucks. They transport products and goods across the country and are essential to businesses everywhere. The hazards, risks, and dangers they present differ from that of the smaller vehicles most people drive every day. Knowledge of these dangers is an important part of staying safe on the road.
According to the IIHS, the vast weight difference between passenger cars and large trucks combined with the truck’s reduced braking capability are major factors in crashes involving semi-trucks.
Facts About Large Trucks and Drivers Who Share the Road
- Trucks can weigh 20-30 times as much as cars.
- Loaded semi-trucks take 20-40 percent farther than cars to stop. This is especially true when the road is wet or the brakes have not been maintained properly.1
- Federal regulations allow truck drivers to drive for up to 11 hours at a stretch.2
- Surveys indicate that many of these drivers violate the regulations resulting in fatigue and increased risk.
Large Truck Crash Statistics
- A total of 3,986 people died in large truck crashes in 2016.
- 17% of these were truck occupants.
- 66 % were occupants of passenger vehicles.
- 16 percent were pedestrians, bicyclists or motorcyclists.
- The number of people who died in large truck crashes was 27 percent higher in 2016 than in 2009.
- 48% of large truck crash deaths in 2016 occurred from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., compared with 30% of crash deaths not involving large trucks.
- 60% of deaths in large truck crashes in 2016 occurred on major roads other than interstates, 32% occurred on interstates, and 7% occurred on minor roads.
- 31% of passenger vehicle occupants killed in two-vehicle crashes with a large truck in 2016 were in head-on crashes with the truck. 20% involved the front of the passenger vehicle striking the rear of the large truck.1
If you or a loved one is involved in a serious crash with a semi-truck, seek medical attention immediately. After the wreck has been reported, do not hesitate to seek representation. You may be entitled to recover compensation for your injuries. Contact The Cochran Firm Huntsville at 256-536-1199 for a free consultation.
- Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute. 2017. Fatality Facts, Large Trucks. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/large-trucks/fatalityfacts/large-trucks. Accessed 15 June 2018.
- 2017. Summary of Hours of Service Regulations. [ONLINE] Available at https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/hours-service/summary-hours-service-regulations. [Accessed 19 June 2018].