How Common Are Truck Crashes?
You probably see them every day: semi-trucks. They are on streets, roads, and in alleyways, driving on expressways and interstates, and hauling product to and from stores. Semi-trucks serve a vital role in the lives of Chicago residents yet they simultaneous pose a threat to safety. Semis are substantially larger and heavier than most other vehicles on the road, creating disproportion in these categories and a perilous situation should a collision occur.
How Common Are Tractor-Trailer Crashes in Illinois?
The Illinois Department of Transportation (“IDOT”) follows the traffic crashes that occur in Illinois and compiles statistics regarding the totality of the collisions. According to IDOT, the follow statistics are true for 2018:
- There were 12,267 accidents involving semi-trucks;
- Of those collisions, 2,075 were the cause of injuries;
- Tractor-trailers were in 122 fatal accidents;
- In those fatal crashes, there were only 19 occupant deaths inside the semi-trucks. The rest of the victims were in another vehicle or were near the scene of the collision;
- Semi-trucks were in just under 4 percent of all traffic crashes in the state, about 3 percent of all traffic-related injuries, and more than 11 percent of all fatalities. This illustrates that while semi-trucks make up a small percentage of overall accidents, these collisions are responsible for a disproportionately large percentage of the fatalities.
How Frequently do Truck Accidents Occur Across the United States?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) follows truck collisions statistics on a national level as compiled by different local and state agencies. NHTSA groups these vehicles as large trucks and defines them as vehicles with a gross weight rating greater than 10,000 pounds. Among large trucks in the United States in 2012, the following statistics hold true:
- 333,000 large truck traffic accidents occurred;
- In those collisions, there were 3,921 deaths and 104,000 people with injuries;
- There were 697 large truck occupant fatalities. Of those, 424 deaths were in single vehicle collisions while 273 deaths were due to multiple vehicle crashes;
- 2,843 vehicle occupants outside of a large truck, i.e. deaths to those in passenger cars;
- 381 non-vehicular occupant fatalities, including bicyclists and pedestrians;
- 25,000 occupants of large trucks were injured with 9,000 being injured in single vehicle collisions and 17,000 being injured in multiple vehicle crashes;
- 76,000 occupants of vehicles other than a large truck, like a passenger car, were hurt;
- 3,000 non-vehicular occupants were injured in large truck collisions;
- Nationally, four percent of all registered vehicles were large trucks. Nine percent of all miles traveled were driver by large trucks;
- Large trucks were responsible for three percent of all injury and property-damage only collisions but eight percent of all fatal accidents, showing large trucks to be disproportionately responsible for traffic deaths in the country;
How do Most Truck Accidents Take Place?
Common belief may suggest an accident is most likely when a vehicle is turning. However, statistics do not support this conclusion when it comes to truck accidents. In fact, across the nation, 46 percent of all multiple-vehicle fatal collisions occurred when both a large truck and another vehicle involved were traveling in a straight direction. Of 12 percent of fatal accidents, either a truck or another vehicle was negotiating a turn. In nine percent of multiple-vehicle fatal collisions, the vehicle other than the truck was turning. Finally, in seven percent of fatal crashes, at least one vehicle was stationary in a traffic lane.
The majority of truck accidents involved an initial impact to the front of the truck, followed by the rear, the left side, and then the right side. But trucks are still at a significant risk of a rear-end accident. In fact, in 2012, large trucks were three times more likely to be in a rear-end collision in fatal accidents than other vehicles, including passenger cars. Experts believe that the elevated nature of trucks continue to lead to an increase in fatal accidents even though trucks are now outfitted with crossbars that prevent or eliminate a car’s ability to become entrapped beneath the rear of a tractor trailer.
Contact a Truck Crash Attorney in Chicago
The statistics surrounding semi-truck accidents in Illinois and across the United States reinforce the belief that, though trucks are a necessary means of transportation, the risk they pose to other motorists is real, and too often, deadly.
The victims of truck collisions in and around Chicago may have a right to legal relief for their damages. A personal injury claim brought with the help of a lawyer may enable a victim to recovery fair and adequate compensation for the physical, emotional, and financial damages that result from a collision. This includes medical bills, lost wages from work, and pain and suffering.
At Abels & Annes, P.C., we have a track record of helping the victims of truck accidents. Our Chicago truck accident lawyers seek and obtain relief for accident victims and we are ready to help you. We have a lawyer standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week at (312) 924-7575. We will provide you with a free and confidential case consultation without any obligation on your part.
If a truck accident has left you injured, make sure you know your legal rights. Call Abels & Annes, P.C. today for a free case consultation.
If you have been hurt in a truck accident, call Abels & Annes, P.C. now at (855) LAW-CHICAGO or Contact Us online for a free consultation.