According to the most recent data, there were more than 14,000 large truck accidents in North Carolina in 2016. More than 150 people were killed in these accidents, and thousands were injured.
Here’s a quick look at important facts and statistics related to large truck accidents in North Carolina and throughout the US.
Heavy Truck Accidents: By the Numbers
In 2016, tractor trailers / semi-trucks were involved in the most crashes (4,464); subsequently, these vehicles caused the most injuries (1,238) and fatalities (62).
Single unit trucks, or those with two axles and six tires, were the second most common vehicle to cause a large truck accident: there were 4,179 accidents, more than 1,000 injuries and 38 people died.
Large truck accidents involve a range of vehicles including single unit trucks, tractor-trailers, semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, and other commercial motor vehicles (CMVs).
Commercial motor vehicles also include buses, garbage trucks, delivery vans, hotel and airport shuttles, moving trucks, and other common, heavy vehicles.
Our state tracks crash statistics for a variety of these vehicles as well. School and commercial buses, for example, were involved in almost 1,500 crashes, resulted in 6 fatalities, and injured almost 500 people.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), large truck and bus accidents across the US increased by two percent year-over-year and 29 percent since 2009.
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Large Truck Accidents: People & Injuries
Large trucks are designated by their weight. Typically, these vehicles have a gross vehicle weight or combined weight rating of 10,000 pounds of more; for perspective, most consumer vehicles weigh less than half that.
Large truck accidents pose serious risks to drivers and passengers on our roadways; the size, strength, and even the cargo they carry can increase crash severity for everyone involved.
What’s worse, many of these terrible accidents could have been avoided. According to FMCSA, at least one driver-related factor was recorded for 32 percent of the large truck drivers in fatal crashes, compared to 55 percent of the passenger vehicle drivers in fatal crashes.
Speeding of any kind was the most common driver error among large truck drivers and passenger vehicle drivers alike. However, distraction or inattention was more common among truck drivers; impairment was more common among drivers in passenger vehicles.
Sadly, when passenger vehicles are involved in a heavy truck accident, they often suffer the most damage: in 2016, 56 percent of large truck crashes killed the driver of the other motor vehicle.
Drivers involved in a large truck crash could face a number of significant injuries including:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Neck or spinal cord injury
- Back injuries
- Broken bones
The numbers don’t lie. Large truck accidents are on the rise in North Carolina and in the US.
If you or someone you care about was injured by a large truck or commercial motor vehicle, you need an experienced North Carolina injury lawyer on your side.
Truck accidents often result in complex legal disputes with multiple insurance companies. An experienced injury lawyer can help protect your rights and help ensure no money is left on the table.