Tractor-trailers and other similarly large commercial vehicles are important for businesses and the economy. They do, however, pose some problems for California drivers who must share roadways with them. When tractor-trailer drivers follow the rules of the road and obey all licensing and regulatory mandates imposed on them as operators, they often keep themselves and others safe. When they do not, though, devastating and sometimes deadly accidents can happen.
Fact #1: Tractor-trailer accidents are disproportionate to tractor-trailer vehicles.
According to data from the National Safety Council, tractor-trailers make up about 4% of all registered vehicles. Based on this, one may expect for tractor-trailers to be involved in about 4% of all roadway accidents. This is not the case. Per the data, tractor-trailers are actually involved in 10% of all fatal roadway accidents. This discrepancy demonstrates the dangers posed by tractor-trailers when they are in collisions.
Fact #2: Deaths from tractor-trailer accidents are rising.
Between 2010 and 2019, deaths from tractor-trailer accidents have risen by an incredible 36%. In 2010, 3,686 individuals died in tractor-trailer collisions, but in 2019 more than 5,000 people perished in similar accidents.
Fact #3: Fatalities from tractor-trailer accidents are mostly from other vehicles.
Tractor-trailer accidents can inflict injuries on truck drivers. More often, though, individuals in other vehicles suffer the most significant harm. Nearly 70% of those suffering injuries were outside of the tractor-trailers at the time of the accidents, with around 30% of injured parties being tractor-trailer drivers.
The data is clear: tractor-trailer accidents pose real risks to drivers who often suffer significantly when they are involved in collisions with large trucks. There are options for victims of tractor-trailer collisions, and opportunities under the law for possible avenues to seek relief and damages.