Understanding the Dangers of Big Rigs: Trucking Accident Lawyer in Greenville, South Carolina Shares Shocking Statistics
Although all motor vehicle accidents have the potential to cause catastrophic, disabling, and fatal injuries, none are more likely than a trucking accident. Collisions with big rigs, tractor-trailers, semi-tractor trailers, flatbeds, tankers, 18-wheelers, and other large box trucks are simply more devastating than collisions with other vehicles. Large trucks are heavier and generate more momentum at a lower speed. (Just think about how much heavier your Tonka Truck was compared to your FisherPrice car!) This momentum generates significant force in an impact that must be dispersed into whatever the truck hits. Often, that means a smaller passenger vehicle and the occupants inside. Our trucking accident lawyer in Greenville, South Carolina, knows just how devastating this type of collision can be, as 2020 truck accident statistics support these contentions.
If you or a loved one were seriously injured in any type of trucking accident in South Carolina, or if a loved one was wrongfully killed in an 18-wheeler wreck, please call our law firm to learn how we can help you and your family. Here at the Hammack Law Firm, our compassionate team of professionals and our experienced trucking accident lawyers can answer all of your questions, advise you on the law, and begin working on your case at no upfront cost and at no financial risk to you. We offer FREE consultations and pay the upfront costs and disbursements of litigation for you. We only get these expenses reimbursed and our legal fees paid after we make a recovery for you.
If you’re not into statistics, we have a simple breakdown for you after the hard numbers, so you can scroll there if you prefer!
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2020 Truck Accident Statistics That Show the Horror of 18-Wheeler Wrecks
The most prominent authority on trucking accident statistics comes from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This federal agency reviews and analyzes all traffic data to make safety recommendations, regulate vehicle performance standards, make road improvement suggestions, and perform other important tasks in partnership with state and local government. One of NHTSA’s biggest tasks is gathering and compiling traffic accident statistics and data (so the rest of us don’t have to do math—whew!).
According to the NHTSA statistics for 2020, there were almost 39,000 fatalities in traffic accidents in the United States and another nearly 2.3 million injuries. Of these fatalities and injuries, occupants in light trucks were responsible for 10,352 deaths and 813,509 injuries, and large trucks (including buses and other large commercial vehicles) accounted for 831 fatalities and 44,934 injuries. Of these fatalities and injuries, light trucks accounted for roughly 27%, and large trucks (including buses and other large commercial vehicles) accounted for 4%.
But that isn’t even the whole story. These are just statistics of occupants of those vehicles who were injured in crashes.
NHTSA’s same statistics also share that of “other people” in other vehicles (such as those in smaller passenger vehicles or on motorcycles), there were 4,134 fatalities and 101,997 injuries. That is a significantly larger number of fatalities and injuries caused by large trucks. That brings the total figure of people killed in large truck accidents to 4,965 and people injured to 146,930.
Why These Statistics are Worse Than They Seem
Although only accounting for roughly 5,000 out of the 39,000 traffic fatalities does not sound like a large number or serious problem, our trucking accident lawyer in Greenville, South Carolina, knows that these 2020 truck accident statistics can be deceiving. That is because large trucks only account for approximately 5% of all registered vehicles and 10% of total vehicle miles traveled each year.
Therefore, performing the necessary math (yikes), large trucks account for approximately 13% of all traffic fatalities but only 10% of all miles driven. That means they are disproportionally higher than other vehicles, including passenger vehicles and motorcycles. This rate is reflected in comparing the ratio of millions of miles driven for all vehicles resulting in fatal accidents (1.34), but and large trucks which is statistically considered much higher (1.60).
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The Simple Breakdown
If that was all confusing, we get it. Here’s the quick breakdown: Large trucks account for way fewer vehicles on the road AND fewer miles driven, but still account for a way higher percentage of traffic accidents, deaths, and injuries. That’s serious.
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Other Important NHTSA Points on 2020 Truck Accident Statistics
In addition to these total figures and percentages, there are other important points to learn from NHTSA statistics. Some other important (and shocking) points include the following:
- 71% of people killed in large truck cases in 2020 were occupants of OTHER vehicles
- 76% of fatal trucking accidents occurred on weekdays
- Truck drivers who have been in a prior crash had a higher percentage of causing a fatal crash in 2020 than any other type of driver (21.3% higher!)
- 3% of truck drivers had a BAC above .08 (even though the trucking regulations prohibit a BAC above .00 and even consuming alcohol within 4 hours of starting a shift)
- 32% of all truck accidents occurred with a point of impact on the front of the truck (head-on)
- 42% of truck crashes occurred when going straight
What About Truck Accident Statistics in South Carolina?
In South Carolina, truck accident statistics are on par with the national average. According to the NHTSA, the national average of vehicles involved in fatal crashes with large trucks was 8.9% and South Carolina’s average is 8.3%. Statistics from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety reveal that there were 927 traffic fatalities in total—and large trucks and other trucks accounted for 113 of those fatalities.
Although at this time, further statistics have not been released by the South Carolina Department of Public Safety (likely due to the pandemic), statistics from past years involving commercial trucks have remained constant and consistent with national statistics.
Were You Injured in a Truck Accident in South Carolina? Ask Our Trucking Accident Lawyer in Greenville for Help
Truck accidents are serious. They often cause permanent injuries and disability—and sometimes wrongful death. If you or a loved one were injured in a truck accident in South Carolina, call our experienced trucking accident lawyers in Greenville, SC for help. Unlike other personal injury law firms that treat you as just a file number, we treat all of our clients like family, with the respect and attention you deserve.
Learn more about how we can help you by calling our team at the Hammack Law Firm or by sending us a message through our website.