Common Causes of Truck Accidents

A recent study has revealed some surprising info about truck accidents. They are responsible for an enormous number of deaths per year on American roads.

What are some of the common causes of truck accidents? What do you need to know about truck accidents and trucking law? Let’s find out some of the most common causes of truck accidents today.

Trucks Are Responsible for 4,500 Deaths Per Year in the United States

A study from Taylor & Francis revealed that trucks on America’s roads are responsible for about 4,5000 deaths per year in the United States. That study was published in the International Journal of Injury Control and Safety.

Truck accidents are also a huge source of productivity loss as well as property damage and personal injury.

One of the most illuminating facts from the study is that trucks represent just 8% of highway traffic, yet are involved in 11% of fatal road crashes.

Surprising Truck Accident Statistics

The study looked at 1,134 truck crashes across America, including 101 single vehicle and 1,033 multi-vehicle crashes. Researchers categorized the severity of each crash based on property damage, injuries, and fatalities.

Meanwhile, the factors that caused or affected the crash were grouped into all of the following categories:






Researchers also took into account 15 traffic factors ranging from the condition of the driver as well as the speed and characteristics of the vehicle and the location.

One of the most surprising facts revealed in the study is that the concentration of trucks on the road plays a key role in the likelihood of an accident. Even in situations where there was reduced traffic on the road (which typically leads to a reduced risk of accident), higher truck volume could still lead to an overall increase in the likelihood of an accident.

Researchers, for example, found that an increase of 1% truck volume leads to a disproportionately higher increase in severe crash probability.

What Causes Truck Accidents?

Volume of Trucks on the Road

As mentioned above, the main finding of the study was that more trucks on the road means a greater risk of experiencing a severe accident. Even when the overall traffic volume goes down, the concentration of truck traffic volume can lead to a disproportionately higher increase in the probability of experiencing a severe crash.


Unsurprisingly, speed was the next most significant factor in determining the severity of crashes after truck volume. As speeds increased, the severity of the accident also increased. Speeds above 45 mph, for example, were shown to double the likelihood of a fatal crash.

Driver Gender

Male drivers had a higher incidence of fatal crashes. This was due to the increased likelihood of male drivers to speed, act aggressively, or drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Male drivers are also more likely to drive fatigued.

Drive Impairment

Impaired drivers were approximately 7 times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident. Impaired drivers also had a far greater risk of experiencing a severe crash. The main reasons for this were the fact they were weakened by slower reaction times and poor judgment.

Vehicle Type

Longer combination trucks were the most likely to experience a severe crash. In longer combination trucks, the driver has a restricted view of the right hand side of the vehicle.

Safety Belt Type

The type of safety belt (as well as the actual use of that safety belt) bore a direct relationship to the severity of the crash.

Maneuvers Versus Acceleration

Trucks that were performing maneuvers at the time of the crash were less likely to be involved in an injury-causing collision than trucks that were accelerating at the time of the accident. Trucks that were performing maneuvers were more likely to experience a less dangerous property-only crash without causing personal injuries or fatalities.


Weather was the only significant environmental factor that emerged during the study. As you may have guessed, inclement weather increased the risk of experiencing a severe crash. Snow was one of the most dangerous conditions and was found to double the threat of a severe crash.


Most people have a healthy fear of driving next to big trucks on the freeway, they know they are one minor slip away from ending up with serious injuries if an accident were to ever to occur. Unfortunately these accidents happen all the time and negligence is almost always the main reason.

One of the best ways to avoid the devastating consequences of a truck related accident is to prevent them from happening at all. The first rule to remember when driving next to or behind a big rig is to avoid blind spots and make sure your vehicle is visible to the driver at all times. It is also best to be constantly on guard and practice defensive driving skills when driving close to a truck because their immense size and enormous weight make them difficult to manoeuvre. Another thing to consider is the welfare of the truck driver as there is always the possibility that the driver may be fatigued due to long hours on the road. While it is also important to know that some factors are beyond our control, there are many ways that truck accidents can be avoided.

Have You Been Involved in a Trucking Accident?

Oklahoma truck wrecks can be extremely dangerous. Any time you have enormous vehicles weighing over 10,000 pounds carrying heavy loads at high speeds, there’s the potential for something extremely dangerous to occur.

Oklahoma City auto accident lawyers Johnson & Biscone specialize in vehicle accident law and have helped Oklahomans receive the compensation they are legally owed following all types of accidents. Call 405-232-6490 today for a free consultation and learn whether you or your loved one may be eligible for significant compensation.

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