When it comes to truck accidents, there is a variety of parties who may be responsible for a victim’s injuries, including:
The truck’s driver; the owner of the truck or trailer;
the person or company that leased the truck or trailer from the owner;
the manufacturer of the vehicle, tires, or other parts that may have contributed to the cause or severity of the accident; and,
the shipper or loader of the truck’s cargo (in cases involving improper loading).
The trucking, hauling, and leasing companies often argue among themselves over whose insurance will compensate the victim. For example, the truck company might claim that the accident was caused by defective brakes. In turn, the brake company might then point the finger at the leasing company, claiming that it failed to maintain the brakes in good working order.
A large truck is defined as a truck with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds. Large trucks are a significant cause of fatal accidents. In 2018, trucks moved 11.1 billion tons of domestic freight, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, a number projected to grow to 14.2 billion in 2045.
More trucks are on the road, and truck drivers are facing increasing pressure to deliver their cargo quickly. This means that many truck drivers may drive assertively, when fatigued or even when sick, to make their deadlines. Unfortunately, these factors translate to an increased risk of truck accidents on the roads.
Truck accident statistics show:
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported that 4,136 people died in large truck crashes in 2018, so expect that number to increase for 2019.
Most of the deaths in large truck crashes were the occupants of other passenger vehicles. For 2018, 67 percent of those killed were in other cars, while only 16 percent of those killed were the truck drivers themselves.
Large truck crashes continue to cause a disproportionate number of traffic fatalities. According to the National Safety Council, in 2018, large trucks accounted for 9 percent of all vehicles involved in fatal crashes, even though they make up only 4 percent of all registered vehicles.