Automobile collisions are some of the more dangerous situations one can find themselves in, but they become even more lethal when trucks are involved. Whether the truck is a personal-use pickup or a commercial vehicle, these vehicles weigh much more and are larger than the average car. Colliding with a truck has a proportionately higher risk of injury – and death.
How often are truck crashes fatal?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that in 2020, 8.9% of all vehicles involved in fatal crashes across America that year were large trucks. A figure of less than 10% may sound small, but the actual numbers paint a sobering picture. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) of the Department of Transportation, 415,000 crashes involving large trucks were reported in 2020. Of that number, 4,444 were fatal crashes, and 101,000 were injury crashes.
From the same figures above, it was estimated that, on average, there were 1.12 fatalities in each deadly truck crash in 2020. Alarmingly, the FMCSA also found that in that year, 83% of deaths were not on trucks. These include individuals who are occupants of another vehicle, pedestrians, and cyclists.
What about truck crash injuries?
Not all truck collisions are fatal – after all, 101,000 collisions in 2020 resulted only in injuries. But truck collisions almost always result in injuries. The National Safety Council reported that in 2020, 30.6% of injuries in truck crashes were sustained by truck drivers, while 67.7% were sustained by other vehicle occupants, and 1.7% by nonoccupants.
What should you do after a truck accident?
It’s important to know what to do if you get into a truck crash. Here are some helpful steps you can take:
- Carefully assess the situation: How is your condition? Are you hurt? If you’re in a vehicle, how are the other passengers? If you are injured, it is advised not to do anything else until help arrives. But if you can, you should also check on the other driver’s condition.
- Call emergency services: If it is physically possible, call 911 immediately. Inform emergency responders of how many people (or vehicles) were involved in the accident.
- Seek medical attention: Consider a complete medical evaluation, no matter how minor your injuries are. An emergency medical technician may be able to assess your injuries at the crash scene, but it won’t hurt to have another evaluation at a hospital.
- Documentation: Take pictures of the scene and take note of the contact information of anyone involved in the accident, regardless of who may be responsible for the crash – but only if you are physically capable of doing so.
If there’s anything you should take away from this blog, it’s that truck crashes are very dangerous – but even if you get into one, you should be able to claim any damages you’ve suffered.