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Truck Accident Statistics Across the U.S.


  • Large trucks are a key pillar of the economy, but truck accident statistics show they also cause about half a million traffic accidents every year.
  • The size and weight of trucks mean that truck accidents are more likely to cause injury or death than crashes involving only passenger vehicles.
  • Driver error is by far the most common cause of truck accidents.
  • Working with an experienced truck accident attorney can help victims recover the compensation they deserve.

On highways across the nation, passenger vehicles share the road with millions of large trucks. While truck shipping plays a vital role in the US economy, the sheer size and weight of these vehicles present a unique threat in the event of an accident.

If you or a loved one has been in an accident involving a large truck, you may face serious physical injuries, emotional trauma, or financial burdens. Don’t hesitate to reach out to the team of truck accident attorneys at Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia. We’re ready and able to help you recover the compensation you need.

Call us at (800) 320-HELP or contact us online to get started.

Overview of Truck Accidents in the US

A truck accident involves vehicles such as semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, delivery trucks, and other large trucks weighing over 10,000 lbs. At any speed, these mechanical behemoths carry tremendous kinetic energy. That can put other cars on the road at significant risk. Accidents involving large trucks are often more complex and devastating than those involving only passenger vehicles.

In recent years, the increasing frequency of truck accidents in the US has been a cause for concern. The human and economic impacts of these accidents are profound. In many cases, there are significant costs related to medical care, lost productivity, and property damage.

Key Statistics on Truck Accidents

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has reported around 500,000 accidents involving large trucks every year. Here are some other key statistics on truck accidents.

Fatalities and Injuries Are More Prevalent Among Passenger Vehicle Occupants

The data on injuries and fatalities in truck accidents shows the unique danger of collisions involving large trucks.

  • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 5,788 people killed in traffic crashes involving large trucks in 2021
  • 72% of the fatalities in large-truck crashes were the occupants of other vehicles
  • In the same year, there were 154,993 people injured in accidents with large trucks
  • Crashes involving large trucks are much more likely to cause injuries and fatalities than accidents involving only passenger cars

Major Causes of Collisions Based on Recent Truck Accident Data

According to the FMCSA’s landmark Large Truck Crash Causation Study, 87% of truck accidents are caused by driver errors such as decision-making, reactions, or recognition of hazards.

One likely explanation for many of these errors is truck driver fatigue, a serious problem plaguing the trucking industry. Long hours on the road significantly increase the risk of accidents.

Truck drivers who got into accidents were also far less likely to be drunk than the drivers of other types of vehicles. Mechanical problems with the vehicle caused 10% of crashes, with environmental causes making up the final 3% of truck accident causes.

U.S. Truck Accident Statistics Show Patterns for Time and Location

Due to the commercial use of large trucks, accidents involving these vehicles are most likely to take place during business hours: 6 am to 6 pm, Monday through Friday. These accidents tend to take place on interstate highways, especially in rural areas.

For similar reasons, the states with the highest rate of truck accidents as a percentage of all traffic crashes are located in the central part of the country, with a lot of wide-open highways. Places like Texas, Indiana, or Wyoming get a lot of truck shipping traffic relative to their population levels. As a result, they see a higher rate of truck accidents.

Injuries Caused by Truck Accidents

It’s clear from truck accident statistics that large trucks present a unique danger when involved in accidents, especially to the drivers of other vehicles. Victims of truck accidents are often left with serious injuries, some of which have long-term or permanent consequences.

Common truck accident injuries include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and concussions from violent impacts.
  • Spinal cord injuries leading to paralysis or mobility issues.
  • Broken bones and severe fractures requiring surgery.
  • Internal injuries, including organ damage, torn muscles or tissue, and internal bleeding.
  • Emotional and psychological trauma, such as PTSD.

Other potential injuries include burns, lacerations, and whiplash injuries.

How To Obtaining Truck Accident Claim

If you were involved in a truck accident caused by someone else’s negligence, chances are you are dealing with a serious or even catastrophic injury. You may be able to recover compensation for damages such as:

  • Medical expenses related to your truck accident injuries, like hospital stays, surgery, medication, or physical therapy
  • Lost wages after missing work as a result of the accident
  • Property damage to your vehicle or other belongings
  • Pain and suffering based on the severity of your injuries
  • Emotional damages from accident-related trauma

A key difference between truck accidents and car accidents is that there are more potentially liable parties in truck accident cases. Truck accident attorneys can be a valuable resource for plaintiffs who are unsure about which party to hold responsible for their damages.

Choose WHG for Your Truck Accident Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, seeking legal counsel from a qualified personal injury lawyer specializing in truck accidents is crucial. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the legal process, gather evidence, build your case, and pursue the maximum compensation you deserve.

As personal injury lawyers, our team at Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia have used their skills and experience to help many victims of truck accidents over the years. We know how to fight to secure compensation for victims, and we want to help you.

Reach out to the team at WHG for a free consultation. You can contact us online or call us at (800) 320-HELP.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if I was injured in a truck accident?

Ensure your safety and health first, seek medical attention, report the truck accident to the authorities. Then, consider consulting a truck accident lawyer to protect your rights.

How long will my truck accident claim take to settle?

Truck accident claims may involve more than one negligent party, such as the driver and the company that owns their truck. Defendants may stall by blaming each other in hopes of escaping negotiations with less liability. Unfortunately for you, that means your truck accident claim may take a year or more to settle.

If both sides continue to dispute your truck accident claim, there is a chance that it goes to trial as a personal injury lawsuit. You may need to be prepared to wait a bit longer for a settlement in this situation.

Can I still receive compensation for my damages if I partially caused the truck accident?

In states like Florida with comparative fault rules, you may be able to recover a portion of your damages’ value even if you are partially at fault for the truck accident. Florida stipulates that you must bear less than 50% of the fault for the crash to be entitled to compensation from the negligent party.

In the interest of fairness, your settlement would be reduced by a percentage corresponding to your share of the fault. For example, let’s say you were speeding and the court assigns you 15% of the blame. The trucking company hadn’t fixed the vehicle’s faulty brakes or a burnt-out headlight, so they get 85% of the blame.

You could potentially recover 85% of the value of your claim. An experienced WHG truck accident attorney can provide further detail and clarification for your specific case.

No Win, No Fee Commitment

Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia is committed to helping you rebuild your life after a hardship. We are not just your legal team—we are your allies, your partners, and your advocates. We will do everything we can to handle your case with compassion and care, and to get you the results you need!

“And for every fight we take on, know this…we are doing everything we can to make sure we win!”

— Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia

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About the Author

Adam Werner is a partner and practicing attorney at WHG. He specializes in personal injury cases, workers’ compensation claims, and veteran disability benefits. He routinely writes about personal injury and workers comp topics for the Werner, Hoffman, Greig & Garcia blog

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