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OTR Truck Accidents – Trucking Accident Causes and Statistics

Semi-Truck on Road

Recently an over the road (OTR) truck driver was involved in a crash that killed four people and injured four others. He was charged with vehicular homicide as well as an additional 39 counts. The truck crash caused a chain reaction of accidents, which involved over 27 vehicles.

An accident involving an over the road truck can be extra catastrophic and tragic.

Over 3,500 deaths a year are the result of a trucking accident. The number of injuries is much higher, around 80,000. That’s an incredibly sobering statistic. Everything from driver fatigue, speeding, semi-truck vehicle defects and DUI are just a few of the causes that result in so many accidents, injuries, and fatalities. OTR trucks and semi-tractor trailers are so big, and their cargo is so heavy, which makes an accident with one so much more potentially devastating. A car or even a large SUV doesn’t stand much of a chance when in an accident with a truck. Although the trucking industry is striving to make the road safer for both truckers and regular drivers, the sheer size of the vehicle in question can cause an accident to be compounded and much more dire. We don’t mean to deride truckers, most are very cautious, but their job is a tough one. Because of the nature and pressures of the job, including long hours, challenging schedules and deliveries, road fatigue etc., as well as the large size of the truck and the many number of both cars and trucks on the road, accidents are bound to happen.

Trucking Accident Statistics

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)

  • 4,102 people died in large truck crashes in 2017. 17% were OTR truck occupants, 68% were occupants of cars, 14% were pedestrians, bicyclists or on a motorcycle.
  • The number of fatalities in truck crashes was 30% higher in 2017 than in 2009. The number of truck occupants who died was 52% higher.
  • Most deaths in large truck crashes are in passenger vehicles. Trucks can weigh over 20 times as much as a car.
  • Semi tractor-trailers take much longer to come to a stop. It can take them approx. 30% longer to come to a full stop.
  • OTR trucks were involved in 11% of vehicle crash fatalities.
  • 52% of fatalities in truck crashes occurred on major roads other than interstates and freeways, 32% occurred on interstates and freeways, and 15% occurred on other roads.
  • 49% of truck fatalities happened from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., 16% of truck fatalities happened on Saturday and Sunday.
  • The actual number of truck drivers that were fatally killed seldom have high blood alcohol levels.

If you or a loved one was injured in an accident with an OTR truck or semi-tractor trailer, or other type of truck, please call our trucking accident lawyers at 718-407-4123 today, or contact us online. For years we have helped victims of truck accidents receive the full compensation they deserve. We always offer a free consultation, evening and weekend hours, and charge no legal fees unless we recover money for you. Serving people throughout New York and New Jersey, especially Brooklyn, The Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, Long Island and northern New Jersey.


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