Truck Accident Statistics
According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), fatal crashes involving at least one truck were up by 13% in 2021, as opposed to the previous year. The most dangerous months were between April and July and in November and December.
More fatalities have been occurring on the road. Over forty-two thousand people died in motor vehicle accidents in 2021, a 10.5% increase since 2020, and the highest number of fatalities since 2005.
While there are fewer accidents involving trucks than other motor vehicles, truck crashes can be more dangerous as they can cause more damage in a crash.
You can read more about the annual crash statistics on the Texas Department of Transportation website.
Most Common Causes
Here are the top five causes of motor vehicle accidents on the road according to TXDoT. Let’s look at how truck drivers are affected and how they can help prevent these kinds of accidents:
- Failure to control speed (99k+)
- All motor vehicles should obey speed limits. Truck drivers have much more momentum on the road and therefore have a harder time slowing down or speeding up; therefore, they should stay with the flow of traffic and should change lanes when possible as slower cars merge onto the highway.
- Driver inattention (62k+)
- There can be many distractions on the road that the driver cannot control such as animals, other inattentive drivers, and unsafe weather conditions. Drivers should be careful not to allow themselves to be even more distracted by cellphones, eating, or trying to multitask while driving. Truck drivers should use hands-free communication and should stop to eat or make adjustments. Other drivers should also limit distractions while driving, and opt for hands-free cell phone use when possible.
- Changed lane when unsafe (34k+)
- Truck drivers should generally stay in the left lane when on highways unless they need to use an exit. They need a larger clearance behind their rig and need to use caution when changing lanes. Other drivers should be aware that it is best to pass truck drivers on their left, as cars are less visible when passing on the right.
- Failed to control speed (34k+)
- Speed limits are designed to keep all drivers safe on the road. Many accidents are caused when merging drivers are too slow with the flow of general traffic. Truck drivers have an even more difficult task of maintaining speed so they stay with the flow of traffic.
- Failed to drive in a single lane (30K+)
- Truck drivers should stay away from merging lanes (unless they are merging), and stick to one lane whenever possible. Accidents can be caused when truck drivers continuously try to get ahead of other traffic by crossing back and forth between lanes. Truck drivers should also only change one lane at a time, even if two or three lanes appear clear.
Although truck drivers can cause bigger accidents, it is up to all drivers to keep our roads safe.