You don’t have to be a truck accident lawyer to know that commercial trucks are huge, and the trucking industry is a huge business. That’s why it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that trucking accidents are as common as they are. Whether you’re buying clothing, or having a milkshake at your favorite restaurant, it’s more likely than not that the goods you’re consuming were somehow delivered by a commercial truck. This is reflected in the following statistics:
- The trucking industry brings in more than $650 billion in revenue annually, accounting for nearly 5% of our nations gross domestic product.
- There are nearly 800,000 commercial truck drivers, and more than 50,000 light delivery truck drivers employed in the United States.
- Semi-truck transportation accounts for more than 85% of the total revenue realized by the commercial transport industry each year.
- Commercial trucks transport nearly $400 million worth of goods every single day.
- There are more than 3 million semi-trucks in operation today, which travel over 93 billion miles on U.S. highways each year, using more than 50 billions of gallons of fuel.
Trucking Accidents Did you know that a fully loaded semi-truck can weigh more than 80,000 lbs? That might give you pause if you consider that every time you see a truck on the highway you essentially have 40 tons of metal, fuel, and cargo hurling your direction at 65 miles an hour or more. Considering this, it is no surprise that trucking accidents often result in catastrophic injury or death. And, just like any other vehicle, these commercial trucks are involved in thousands of accidents each year. Consider the following statistics provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation:
- Each year there are more than 500,000 commercial truck accidents.
- Nearly 5,000 of these accidents result in death.
- For every six fatal traffic accidents in the U.S., at least one of them involves a semi-truck, or company vehicle.
- 98% of people killed in trucking accident are those in passenger vehicles, rather than passengers in the trucks.
- The average trucking accident causes over $60,000 in damage.
Identifying the Causes of Trucking Accidents In most trucking accidents there is a single factor that led to the accident – driver error. According to a study by the FMCSA, over 88% of trucking accidents are caused by truck driver mistakes. The report found that:
- Nearly 5% of truck drivers involved in accidents were taking some type of medication.
- More than 23% of the truck drivers involved in accidents were found to have been traveling far to fast for road or weather conditions.
- 20% of truck drivers involved in accidents were suffering from exhaustion or fatigue.
Dealing With the Consequences of Trucking Accidents Trucking accidents, while very common, are not your run-of-the-mill auto accident. There are many contributing factors, and may be several responsible or liable parties involved, with multiple insurance policies coming into play. That’s why if you’re ever involved in a serious automobile accident involving a truck or commercial vehicle, talking with an experienced truck accident attorney is essential. If you have been injured as a result of a trucking accident, we would strongly advise consulting with an experienced truck accident lawyer as soon as possible so that you act quickly to protect your rights, especially for accidents resulting in death.