America has a problem. There are 3.5 million truck drivers on the road and each year about 400,000 of them are involved in a crash. On average, that means about 1-in-9 truckers will be involved in a crash each year. By comparison, the average American driver has a roughly 1-in-50 chance of being in a crash each year. So why are there so many truck accidents?
Who’s at Fault?
Many in the trucking industry will say that smaller cars are responsible for about 80% of all truck accidents. That’s a half-truth. Typically, the smaller vehicle is responsible for 80% of crashes where multiple vehicles were involved. But 40% of truck accidents don’t involve a second vehicle.
That means a significant number of truck crashes are due to negligent maintenance, driver inexperience, or other circumstances. As we discussed previously, newer truck drivers aren’t getting as much time training as they used to and older drivers are retiring rapidly. At the same time, trucking companies need to ensure their trucks are getting regular oil changes, new brakes, and that their electrical systems are safe to protect both the truck driver and others on the road.
Probability in Action
One thing to keep in mind is that the average trucker travels much farther than the average driver. Most long-haul truckers will clock in 80,000-110,000 miles per year! By comparison, the average American drives about 14,000 miles.
Truck drivers are more likely to get into a crash because they’re on the road eight times longer than the average driver. That means more wear on parts, more exposure to dangerous weather and unsafe roads, and more encounters with drivers who don’t know how to pass and merge around large trucks.
While there are certainly many factors in the disproportionate number of truck crashes, truck drivers are not intrinsically more likely to be in a crash. Rather, they’re in a situation where they could crash far more often than the average driver.
If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries or even wrongful death in a trucking accident, you need a law firm that meets your needs. If you’d like to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Bryan truck accident lawyer from The Payne Law Group, don’t hesitate to contact our firm at (979) 300-7406 or send us an email.