Tractor Trailer Accident Statistics are High

by : Nick Johnson

Across the interstates and highways of America, tractor trailer accidents are happening at an alarming rate. How many times have we heard the horror stories about an accident that involved an 18-wheeler, which completely wrecked another vehicle? Many of us have had the misfortune of witnessing one first hand. As you all know, it is not something you would wish to experience or see. One can only hope that the parties involved in a tractor trailer accident will be okay.

Tractor trailer accident statistics show that the roads of the United States witness over 500,000 accidents each year. This is according to data released by The United States Department of Transportation. Unfortunately, a high number of these types of accidents end in fatalities. This is due to the size of these monster vehicles that travel between states carrying cargo that can put these trucks at more than 80,000 pounds each.

What is even scarier about these statistics is that a high percentage of tractor trailer accidents are caused not by the driver of the truck. It is the driver of smaller vehicles that were involved in a crash, which is usually the cause in error of judgment. In such accidents, the driver in the smaller vehicle will most likely sustain a serious injury. On the flip side of that, many of these types of accidents will most likely end in fatalities. Does a 4-wheel car really have a chance against an 18-wheel truck?

Driving while under the influence of alcohol and other drugs is seen as a possible cause of tractor trailer accidents. But according to statistics, the number of accidents caused by a drunken truck driver is very low. There are a higher percentage of accidents due to driving under the influence, which faults the passenger vehicle. Driving while under the influence, will impair all motor skills, and might cause you to come face to face with a truck.

Fatigue caused by driving countless hours is found to be the leading cause of tractor trailer accidents in the United States. Truck drivers drive non-stop, staying awake for hours or days at a time. A lot of them do not get sufficient amount of rest before driving countless hours again. The drivers have cargos that have to reach their destination in a specific amount of time. If the drivers do not get their cargo to their destination, they will get penalized in their payment for the shipment.

As a precaution, we should be weary of these tractor trailer accident statistics. Trucks will travel side by side, with cars that are but a fraction of their enormous size, across major highways all over the United States. If you travel by interstate or highway, you are bound to run into a truck that commands the road with its size and power. Stay cautious, be a defensive driver, and always stay alert when you see an 18-wheel truck. An accident can happen at any time, it is better to be safe than sorry.