Big truck crashes don’t happen as often as car crashes, but when they do, the results can be horrific. Trucks are much larger and heavier than passenger vehicles, which means they cause more damage and more severe injuries when they collide with other vehicles.

In order to protect yourself from truck crashes, it is important to know when and where they are most likely to happen.

When Do Most Truck Crashes Happen?

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) data reports that close to half (48%) of fatal crashes involving large trucks occur between the hours of 6 a.m. and 3 p.m.

This isn’t the case for other vehicle types. In contrast, most passenger vehicle crashes (52%) occur in the evening instead, between 3 p.m. and midnight.

Likewise, only 17% of fatal big truck crashes occur on weekends. But a whopping 35% of fatal passenger crashes occur on the weekend.

This makes sense. Most big truck crashes occur on weekdays during work hours, because this is when truck drivers are also at work: driving. Most passenger vehicle crashes occur in the evening and on weekends because this is when more people are off work, and may be enjoying themselves by going to and from bars or other locations where alcohol is served.

This is also supported by the data on how many truck vs. passenger vehicle crashes are caused by drunk driving. Thankfully, most people don’t drink on the job (as they shouldn’t)!

Between 1982-2020, only 5.8% of truck drivers involved in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol content (BAC) over the legal limit of 0.08%.

Other drivers? During that same time period, 35.4% were driving drunk during their crashes.

Where Do Most Truck Crashes Happen?

This may be surprising, but IIHS data shows that most trucks crashes do NOT happen on the highway.

36% occur on interstates and freeways, but 47% occur on major roads other than interstates and freeways, while the remaining 15% occur on minor roads.

Why is this?

There are multiple reasons that could explain this, but some of the most likely are:

  • Interstates and freeways are often divided, with all traffic moving in the same direction, so there is less opportunity for head-on collisions.
  • Interstates and freeways don’t have intersections (which is where more than half of all collisions of all types occur), so there is less opportunity for side-on collisions.
  • Interstate and freeway traffic typically all moves at the same speed, so there is less likelihood of rear-end collisions.

In contrast, major non-highway roads have a lot of traffic moving in multiple directions, with potentially a lot of stop-and-go traffic, streets that may be one-way only, or lanes that may be left or right turn only, and drivers have to make decisions about where they are going and what lane they need to be in much more quickly.

Trucks also need more time to slow down and more space to turn, which makes collisions more likely once they get off the highway. A lot of collisions occur when a truck starts a dangerous turn and blocks a roadway.

Why Do Truck Crashes Happen?

Truck crashes can happen for many reasons, and depending on the reason, different people may be liable for your injuries.

  • Driver negligence: This can include reckless driving and driving while tired or distracted. In these types of cases, the truck driver is likely liable.
  • Poor maintenance: Trucks undergo a lot more wear and tear than other vehicles, which means regular maintenance and repair is vitally important. For example, if a trucking company does not regularly replace the tires and brakes on the trucks in its fleet, it can be held liable for crashes caused by mechanical failure.
  • Overloading or improper loading: When a truck is overloaded, it can affect how the truck handles, and how long it takes to slow down and stop. When a truck’s load isn’t secured properly, the cargo can move around inside the trailer and upset the truck’s center-of-balance, making the trailer more likely to swing out or overturn. Whoever loaded the truck could then be liable if a crash occurs.
  • Bad company policy: Some companies put their drivers in a bad situation. Not allowing enough sleep, pushing for too much travel, and bad procedures for hiring and bad compensation packages can all lead to create a mix that leaves a driver less able to handle his vehicle safely.

If you are not sure what exactly caused the big truck crash that injured you and who is liable, contact our experienced Georgia and Alabama truck crash attorneys immediately for a free case evaluation.

Truck Crash? Get Gary Bruce.

Trucking companies and their insurers know how much damage a truck crash can cause. And they know how much these types of crashes can cost them when victims seek compensation.

That is why they will try to get representatives to crash scenes as fast as possible to start building their own cases absolving them of liability. They may even send representatives to victims’ hospital rooms trying to get them to agree to small settlements and getting themselves off the hook of paying victims more money later.

Know what your case is worth! Contact our firm today to speak with an experienced truck injury attorney about the value of your claim and your options for compensation. Your initial compensation is always free, and when you hire our firm, you pay nothing unless we get you money.