Truck Accident Facts & Figures

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Truck Accident Facts & Figures

Nationally, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) says that 4,186 large trucks and buses involved in fatal crashes in 2013 represented a three percent increase from the previous year.

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Recovery From Collisions With 18-Wheeler Vehicles

If you think of a large truck/tractor-trailer accident as something that happens on congested northeastern highways and not here in North Carolina, you are misinformed. Commercial truck accidents cause injuries and deaths on urban and rural highways across North Carolina at a rate of more than 10 deaths every month and nearly eight injuries every day of the year.

Injuries from a truck accident are severe and require a serious response. Take action by calling (800) 351-3008 and scheduling a free consultation with a Hickory, Charlotte or Columbia truck accident attorney.

Commercial Truck Accident

The FMCSA, in its 2015 annual report about commercial trucks and buses in the U.S., says that of those who died in large truck accidents in 2013:

  • 56 percent were drivers of another motor vehicle in the crash
  • 4 percent were passengers in other vehicles
  • 1 percent were truck drivers
  • 5 percent were pedestrians
  • 3 percent were passengers in the truck
  • 2 percent were bicyclists.

According to FMCSA, of the 600 truck drivers killed in crashes in 2013, more than half were in single-vehicle accidents.

As the figures show, if you are driving a passenger car or truck and you collide with a large truck, it is most likely you will be injured or killed instead of the trucker.

North Carolina Truck Accidents

The NC DOT, in its crash statistics for 2013, reports the figures for various types of commercial trucks in separate categories:

TruckAll CrashesFatal CrashesInjury Crashes
Single Unit Truck (2-axle, 6 -tire)2,95726870
Single Unit Truck (3 or more axles)1,19819350
Truck/Trailer1,88118489
Truck/Tractor203556
Tractor/Semi-Trailer3,462531,029
Tractor/Doubles74125
Unknown Heavy Truck209061
TOTALS
9,984
122
2,880

Here are some 2013 North Carolina truck accident figures for selected Western North Carolina counties (the NC DOT report, which we link to below, has all 100 counties):

CountySingle Unit Truck
(2-axle, 6-tire)
Single Unit Truck
(3 or more axles)
Tractor Trailer
Truck Crashes
Alexander
(Taylorsville)
Total: 6
Injury: 3
Fatal: 0
Total: 0
Injury: 0
Fatal: 0
Total: 7
Injury: 4
Fatal: 0
Burke (Morganton)
Total: 24
Injury: 5
Fatal: 0
Total: 8
Injury: 3
Fatal: 0
Total: 62
Injury: 14
Fatal: 1
Caldwell (Lenoir)
Total: 24
Injury: 6
Fatal: 1
Total: 8
Injury: 3
Fatal: 0
Total: 31
Injury: 7
Fatal: 1
Catawba (Hickory)
Total: 76
Injury: 20
Fatal: 0
Total: 23
Injury: 3
Fatal: 0
Total: 141
Injury: 24
Fatal: 1
Cleveland (Shelby)
Total: 25
Injury: 5
Fatal: 0
Total: 13
Injury: 4
Fatal: 1
Total: 76
Injury 25
Fatal: 1
Gaston (Gastonia)
Total: 58
Injury: 12
Fatal: 0
Total: 22
Injury: 3
Fatal: 1
Total: 177
Injury: 40
Fatal: 1
Iredell (Statesville)
Total: 71
Injury: 14
Fatal: 0
Total: 24
Injury: 6
Fatal: 1
Total: 202
Injury: 42
Fatal: 2
Lincoln (Lincolnton)
Total: 17
Injury: 4
Fatal: 0
Total: 17
Injury: 3
Fatal: 2
Total: 16
Injury: 0
Fatal: 0
Mecklenburg (Charlotte)
Total: 508
Injury: 132
Fatal: 2
Total: 240
Injury: 46
Fatal: 2
Total: 1,005
Injury: 213
Fatal: 4
Statewide
Total: 3,501
Injury: 870
Fatal: 26
Total: 1,467
Injury: 350
Fatal: 19
Total: 6,748
Injury: 1,604
Fatal: 72

(A crash may have involved more than one truck type. If so, the crash was counted in more than one category.)

These counties in Western North Carolina are served by Interstate and U.S. highways, including I-40, I-77, I-85, U.S. 321, and U.S. 64, as well as numerous state highways. However, the FMCSA says almost two-thirds of all fatal crashes involving large trucks in 2013 occurred on rural roads, and 25 percent occurred on rural or urban Interstate highways.

A truck accident can occur wherever large commercial trucks travel.

Among large truck crashes from 2011 to 2013, as reported by the FMCSA, the top 10 driver-related causes of accidents were:

  • Speeding of any kind
  • Distraction/inattention (cell phone, lost in thought)
  • Vision obscured (by weather, roadway design, vehicles)
  • Failure to yield right of way
  • Failure to keep in the proper lane
  • Impairment (fatigue, alcohol, illness)
  • Careless driving
  • Failure to obey actual traffic signs, traffic control devices, traffic officers, or safety zone traffic laws
  • Ice, water, snow, slush, sand, dirt, oil, wet leaves on the road
  • Following too closely.

Accidents From Truck Defects

Sometimes it’s not either driver’s fault. Many crashes are caused by vehicle parts or systems failing due to lack of maintenance or faulty manufacturing or design. In such cases, it may be that the owner of the truck is responsible for the breakdown and therefore the accident.

The truck’s owner is usually a trucking company, but sometimes the driver is an independent trucker who owns his or her rig. Sometimes, the manufacturer or distributor of a faulty vehicle part or system can be held liable for an accident.

The top truck-related factors in fatal large truck crashes from 2011 to 2013 as reported by the FMCSA in 2015 were:

  • Tires
  • Brake system
  • Other lights (not headlights)
  • Power train
  • Truck coupling/safety hitch/safety chains
  • Reconstructed/altered vehicle.

Our North Carolina Truck Accident Lawyers can Help

The numbers make it clear: if you have been in a commercial truck accident in North Carolina, you have probably been injured and in many cases, the truck driver or the condition of the tractor-trailer was at fault. If so, you deserve compensation for the costs of your injuries, property damage, and other losses, as well as for your pain and suffering.

If you have been injured in a commercial truck accident, do not hesitate to call The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor at (800) 351-3008. We are here to help trucking accident victims throughout North and South Carolina.

Contact our Personal Injury Attorneys​

Contact us today to speak with one of our Charlotte, Hickory, Greenville, Rock Hill, or Columbia attorneys.

120 3rd St NE
Hickory, NC 28601

Phone: (828) 327-9004
Toll Free: (800) 351-3008

130 Church St NE
Concord, NC 28025

Phone: (704) 787-9419
Toll Free: (800) 351-3008

301 S McDowell St #1016
Charlotte, NC 28204

Phone: (704) 676-1093
Toll Free: (800) 351-3008

1348 Ebenezer Rd #103
Rock Hill, SC 29732

Phone: (803) 328-0898
Toll Free: (800) 351-3008

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