Each year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) releases a report detailing large truck accidents in the United States. The report provides statistics for crashes involving large trucks that cause fatalities, injuries, and property damage. To make the report, the NHTSA relies on four major sources of data, making it the most comprehensive annual study of highway trucking safety in the United States.
For the report, the NHTSA defines a large truck as any vehicle that weighs more than 10,000 pounds. Notably, the report excludes motor homes and buses. The report also refers to trucks that weigh more than 26,000 pounds as heavy large trucks.
Key Facts From the 2017 Report
One of the most important findings of the traffic safety report is fatalities caused by truck accidents. In 2017, 4,761 people died in crashes involving large trucks—an increase of 9 percent from 2016. Most victims killed in truck accidents are not truck drivers, with 72 percent being members of other vehicles. The number of other occupants killed in truck accidents reached its highest rate in the last decade this year.
Other important findings include:
- Most fatal truck accidents (78 percent) happen on weekdays
- The blood alcohol of 3 percent of truck drivers tested was over the legal limit
- Drivers of large trucks had the highest rate of previous accidents than any other group of drivers
Where Do Truck Accidents Happen?
The report identified the most common settings where fatal truck accidents occur. More than a quarter (27 percent) of fatal truck accidents occurred on the nation’s interstates. Rural drivers are at the highest risk of fatal truck accidents—58 percent of accidents happened on rural roads.
States with the highest percentage of trucks involved in fatal accidents include:
- North Dakota (16.1%)
- Iowa (15.5%)
- New Mexico (14.7%)
- Wyoming (14.5%)
- Idaho (14.3%)
- Arkansas (12.2%)
- West Virginia (11.8%)
- Texas (11.8%)
Texas had the highest number of fatal car accidents in the United States and the most fatal truck accidents at 621. Most fatal truck accidents occur in Northwest and Southwest sections of the country, with the least occurring in the Eastern and Western portions of the nation.
If a loved one was killed due to the negligence of a truck driver, contact Arnold & Itkin today at (888) 490-0442. We’ve won billions for clients and are ready to fight for your compensation!