Late last year, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA, a division of the United States Department of Transportation) released a new document analyzing “Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts” for the most recently available statistical year.
While every crash is unique, there is much to be learned in studying and understanding truck accidents from a statistical standpoint.
Source of the Information Studied in the “Facts”
In reviewing the statistical information available concerning large truck accidents, the Administration compiled data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) maintained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the General Estimates System (GES) maintained by the NHTSA, the Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS) Crash File maintained by the FMCSA, and the Highway Statistics annual publication of the Office of Highway Policy Information of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
General Trends in Big Rig Accidents
While the study noted that the number of large trucks involved in personal injury and property damage-only crashes decreased by 1% over the past statistical year, the overall news was more bad than good – especially with regard to fatal truck wrecks. There was an 8% increase in fatal crashes involving large trucks and buses over the year prior to the report, accounting for a total of 4,050 large trucks involved in accidents involving fatalities. Perhaps not coincidentally, the number of buses involved in fatal accidents also increased by 11%.
As has been the case for the last several years, Texas had the most multiple-vehicle fatal crashes involving large trucks – 389 in total. Other states topping the list of multiple-vehicle fatal truck accidents were California (214), Florida (158), Georgia (134), Ohio (134), Pennsylvania (104), North Carolina (97), Indiana (89), Tennessee (84), and South Carolina (79).
The Tarheel State’s #7 ranking on this list is quite telling, given that it ranks 28th in size. Among the study’s other observations:
- The majority (64 percent) of fatal large truck crashes involved two vehicles;
- Fatal truck crashes were more likely to occur on rural roads (60%, versus 25% on interstate highways);
- Between 80% and 90% of truck crashes occurred on weekdays rather than weekends;
- Two out of three fatal truck wrecks happened between 6 am and 6 pm;
- About 75% of large truck accident fatalities occurred at speeds of greater than 50 mph;
- Half of all fatal truck crashes happened on a two-way, undivided road; and
- 70% of truck crashes involving fatalities occurred on clear days.
As these statistics indicate, a fatal truck crash is much more likely to happen on an average, ordinary day on a rural road under clear skies than in the middle of a city in heavy traffic or in bad weather. In other words, bad things can happen, even when you least expect it.
Seek Legal Assistance Following a North Carolina Truck Wreck
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a serious truck crash, there are many obstacles that can hamper your efforts to obtain fair compensation for your injuries or your loved one’s wrongful death. To talk to a knowledgeable North Carolina truck accident lawyer, call Nagle & Associates today at (800) 411-1583. Both the phone call and the initial consultation are free, and most cases are handled on a contingency fee basis – we get paid when your case settles or a favorable judgment is entered. We handle cases throughout North Carolina, including in Raleigh, Durham, Hickory, Chapel Hill, and other cities throughout the state.
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