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Truck Accident Statistics

When 18-wheelers and other commercial transfer trucks get into accidents, because of their size and weight, such a crash can cause catastrophic personal injury and death. The most recent Alabama Traffic Crash Facts from the University of Alabama says that in 2014 there were:

  • 7,782 18-wheelers, transfer trucks, semis, big rigs, tankers or dump trucks) involved in crashes
  • 2,184 injuries in Alabama truck crashes
  • 89 fatal truck accidents

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that in 2016 there were:

  • 10.27 million large trucks – gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) greater than 10,000 pounds – registered in the U.S.
  • 6.0 million licensed commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers in the U.S. (including bus drivers)

Additionally, in 2014, there were:

  • 411,000 large truck crashes
  • 3,424 were fatal large truck crashes
  • 82,000 large truck crashes that caused injury
  • 326,000 large truck crashes that resulted in property damage only

Crashes 2014 in Alabama involving commercial trucks occurred on all types of roads, including:

  • Interstates – 2,100 accidents and 25 fatalities
  • U.S. Routes – 1,342 accidents and 27 fatalities
  • State Routes – 1,382 accidents and 26 fatalities
  • County Roads – 767 accidents and 6 fatalities
  • City Roads – 2,004 accidents and 4 fatalities
  • Other – 187 accidents and 1 fatality

The primary causes of all Alabama truck crashes in 2014 were:

  • Improper lane change or use – 886
  • Failed to yield right of way – 796
  • Unseen object, person, or vehicle – 677
  • Tailgating – 565
  • Misjudged stopping distance – 388
  • Defective truck equipment accident – 385
  • Avoiding animal, object, or person – 318
  • Improper turn – 290
  • Improper backing – 277
  • Failure to heed sign / signal – 208
  • Crossed median / centerline – 228
  • Driving too fast for conditions – 230
  • Improper passing – 164
  • Fatigued truck driver accident / asleep – 146
  • Ran off road – 155
  • Truck driver DUI accident (DUI) – 110
  • Over the speed limit – 74
  • Driver not in control – 5
  • Unknown – 300
  • All others – 1,580

In a “Large Truck Crash Causation Study” released in July 2007, the FMCSA said that, in descending order, the top 10 factors in large truck crashes were:

  • Brake problems
  • Traffic flow interruption (congestion, previous crash)
  • Prescription drug use
  • Traveling too fast for conditions
  • Unfamiliarity with roadway
  • Roadway problems
  • Required to stop before crash (traffic control device, crosswalk)
  • Over-the-counter drug use
  • Inadequate surveillance
  • Fatigue.

As the FMCSA study shows, the contributing factor in a commercial truck accident may be the truck itself, as well as the driver’s condition or actions. Regardless, most truck accidents are avoidable and should not have happened.

Contact an Alabama Truck Accident Lawyer Today

If you or a family member has suffered injury or property loss because of an accident involving a large commercial truck (18-wheeler, tractor-trailer, big rig, semi, tanker or dump truck) in Alabama, the truck accident lawyers of Belt & Bruner, P.C., can help you determine your legal options.

If you have been injured in a truck accident, contact our 18 wheeler accident lawyers today at 205-933-1500 for a free consultation. With offices in Birmingham, Mobile, Huntsville, and Montgomery, an attorney from our law firm can meet you anywhere in the state of Alabama to investigate your case.

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