Auto accidents of any kind can be devastating, but when it comes to truck and tractor-trailer accidents, there can be much more damage due to the size and weight of the vehicles involved. Trucking is a massive industry in the United States, with about 63% of the goods transported across the country traveling in semi-trucks. Truck drivers put in thousands of hours of drive time, so it is only a matter of time before they are involved in an accident that results in a truck accident injury lawsuit. Statistics show that an average of 11 people die in America every day as a result of truck accidents, and many more are injured.

Semi-Truck Accident Statistics

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration releases regular reports detailing auto accidents, including truck accidents, and it often reveals some staggering statistics about truck accident injury. One of the most recent reports revealed the following facts:

  • In 2017, over 5,000 individuals in the United States died as a result of a truck accident injury.
  • 180,000 people in the United States suffered injuries in collisions involving large trucks or buses in 2017.
  • It’s not just drivers and their passengers who suffer truck accident injury – in 2017, 372 pedestrians and 76 cyclists also lost their lives in accidents involving trucks or buses.
  • Like other auto accidents, alcohol is a significant factor. 2.5% of drivers involved in fatal crashes with trucks had a blood alcohol level of above 0.08%.
  • A truck accident injury doesn’t always occur. During 2016, around 418,000 accidents involving trucks resulted in property damage only.

It is important to note that in the three years since this report was published, the number of trucks on our roads has continued to increase and so has the number of accidents they are involved in.

Common Causes of Truck Accidents

There are many different reasons why truck accidents occur. Some involve human error, others by mechanical failure, and yet more are caused by a third party. However, some are much more common than others. The majority of accidents involving trucks and other large vehicles like buses fall into one of three main categories.

  • 32% of truck accidents are as a result of a vehicle drifting out of its lane.
  • A loss of control causes 29% of truck accidents. Within this category, multiple subcategories are detailing the reason for the loss of control, including speeding, road conditions, and system failures in the vehicle.
  • 22% of truck accidents are rear-end collisions

Although these are the three most common causes of accidents that result in truck accident injury, it is also worth noting that other factors can be a significant contributor. Automobile drivers can cause acccidents because they are not paying attention to the road or because they do not take into account the needs of truck drivers – for example, not allowing a truck enough room. There are also a considerable number of accidents where drivers are fatigued or are under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Truck accident risks also increase where drivers are unfamiliar with the roads they are driving.


Butler, Vines and Babb is a leading law firm in Knoxville, TN, with extensive litigation experience in Medical Malpractice LawBirth Injury LawTrucking Accident LawPersonal Injury Law, and Business Law. Contact us today at or call 865-637-3531.

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