The amount of damage and injury caused by a semi truck can be particularly devastating. Since companies ship so many products across state lines on big trucks, it is nearly impossible to avoid encountering a big truck on the road. Figuring out how deadly truck crashes happen is one way to help the public learn how to stay safe around these large vehicles.
Fleet Owner reported on a study of fatal truck accidents taken from the years 2015 to 2017. The results help shed some light on why, how and when fatal truck crashes over the past few years take place.
How fatal truck crashes happen
The stats found that the top cause of fatal truck crashes involved truck drivers failing to yield the right of way to other vehicles. Careless driving ranked as the second most common cause, followed by a failure on the part of the truck driver to obey traffic signals and signs. Other causes included:
- Following a vehicle improperly
- Over correcting while driving
- Making a stop in the road
- Operating the truck in an erratic fashion
- Making improper lane changes or turns
People more likely to die in truck crashes
A truck driver is more likely to come out of a truck crash alive. This is because smaller passenger vehicles are vulnerable to the pressure exerted by the size and weight of a large truck. In fact, a truck can weigh as much as 20 to 30 times more than an ordinary passenger vehicle. Some small vehicles even become caught underneath a truck during a collision.
When fatal truck crashes happen
Truck crashes that produce fatalities are most likely to occur on a weekday. The study found that the fewest number of deaths happened on a Sunday. Also, many fatal accidents do not happen during rush hours. They are more likely to occur between 11 am and 4pm, with crashes peaking during the 1pm hour.
Where deadly truck accidents take place
A fatal truck crash is not equally likely to happen on any road. According to the study, most fatal accidents happened on main arterial roads and interstates in rural areas. The study found that I-10 ranked as the road with the most fatal truck accidents.
The study also determined that Texas possessed the highest number of deadly truck accidents, followed by California, Florida, Georgia and Pennsylvania. Even though Mississippi does not rank among the top five, this does not mean that the state is not experiencing a rise in truck accident deaths. In fact, from 2016 to 2018, the state saw a jump in fatal truck accidents.