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Last Modified: May 2, 2023

Trucking Accident Statistics

Truck accidents result in a high rate of deaths, injuries, and property damage. Other vehicles involved in an accident with a commercial truck will sustain greater damage due to the truck’s weight and load.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) defines a large truck as a truck with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) greater than 10,000 pounds. A bus is defined as a motor vehicle designed to carry more than 10 passengers, not including the driver. In the study entitled, “The Large Truck Causation,” conducted in July 2007, four main categories are mentioned as reasons for trucking accidents:

  • Non-Performance: The driver fell asleep, had a medical issue or was otherwise impaired
  • Recognition: The driver was inattentive or failed to observe the situation adequately
  • Decision: The driver was speeding or following vehicles too closely
  • Performance: The driver panicked, overcompensated, or exercised poor directional control

Truck maintenance issues can also be a common cause of accidents. Even though companies are legally obligated to maintain their vehicles, long hours and ever-changing weather conditions can cause equipment failures that may result in a crash.

commercial truck reviewing inspection

Facts About Trucking Accidents

Large truck and bus crash facts from the FMCSA:

  • The number of truck and bus crashes continues to rise. In 2018, there were 5,096 fatal truck accidents in the United States, a 1% increase from 2017. 
  • There are approximately 121,000 truck injury crashes each year.
  • City buses account for 12% of truck crashes.
  • From 2017-2018, the number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes increased by 1%. 
  • Over the past year (from 2017 to 2018):
    • The number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes increased by 1 percent.
    • Injury crashes increased by 5%.
    • Property damage crashes increased 14% to 414,000

Trucking Health Statistics

People who drive trucks for long periods of time have an increased risk for cancer, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Typical sleeping hours on a working day are under 5 hours. Some drivers work 94 hours per week or more.

Truck drivers are 2.5 times more likely to get injured than the average American worker. They are 7 times more likely to lose their life. 

We created the Semi-Truck Smashup Infographic as a visualization of data and other information to help you understand trucking accidents. We sourced all of the data on the infographic from studies produced by the U.S. Government. The data helps paint a comprehensive picture of the state of trucking and accidents in the United States.