TRUCK ACCIDENT STATISTICS AND FACTS
It is not shocking that truck accidents result in more grievous injuries and larger number of deaths than other traffic accidents. What is shocking though are the alarming truck accident statistics:
- The roads of the United States witness over 500,000 truck accidents each year.
- Of these total truck accidents, a high number end in fatalities, with statistics putting the number of deaths due to truck accidents at about 5,000 each year.
- 25% of all traffic fatalities in the United States are caused because of truck accidents.
- 98% of the time – the passengers or driver in the other vehicle is killed in a truck accident.
- There were 58,512 fatal auto crashes in 2003 in the U.S., of which 4669 were that of fatal big truck accidents.
- More than 30% of all truck accidents caused due to truckers driving without taking enough rest and getting the required amount of sleep.
CAUSES OF TRUCK ACCIDENTS
The following actions constitute truck driver errors that result in truck accidents:
- Driving the truck without having the necessary qualifications and the required training.
- Driving over the allowed speed limits in order to meet tight schedules and deadlines.
- Drinking alcohol or taking other drugs that can impair the truck driver’s physical and mental abilities, thus causing truck accidents.
- Driving for continuous hours on end without taking a break and getting enough rest.
- Not securing heavy loads properly on the truck.
- Loading the trucks to more than the maximum capacity.
- Driving tankers that have liquid loads of less than three quarters the maximum capacity. This causes the liquid load to slosh and move the weight about, thus making the driver lose control of the truck and end up in an accident.
- Not carrying out the required pre-trip and during the trip inspections to ensure that the cargo is secure and safe.
Seeing the alarming rise in truck accident cases, and also the huge devastation that such accidents cause to people and property, the Federal Government of the United States has passed many trucking laws, rules, and regulations that govern the entire trucking industry. From truck drivers, to truck makers, to trucking companies; everyone must comply with the different rules and regulations as laid down by the law, some of which are:
- There are stringent hours of service rules for truckers, by which all truck drivers have to take the mandatory rest period between two driving shifts. These rules have been established to alleviate truck driver fatigue, which is one of the leading causes of truck accidents in the U.S.
- Truck drivers are required to possess one trucking license, which is given to them after they have gained the necessary driving expertise and undergone specialized training.
- Trucking companies are required by law to ensure that their trucks are always in top driving condition by carrying out routine truck inspections and following safety guidelines and procedures.
TRUCKING INDUSTRY REVENUE STATISTICS
- The truck driver makes 30.3 cents per mile. Average yearly income for a driver is $32,000 a year. The average owner operator makes slightly more.
- Total revenue estimates are $255.5 billion. For hire or common carriers trucking companies generated revenue estimated at $97.9 billion about $18 billion more than air transportation. Private fleets generated revenue estimated at $121 billion.
- Truck operating ratio is estimated at 95.2. This means for every dollar in revenue the trucking company has a cost of 95.2 cents leaving a profit of 4.8 cents on every dollar.
- The trucking industry contributes an estimate of $21.4 billion to operate on U.S. roads and highways.
- The trucking industry accounts for 12.8 percent of all the fuel purchased in the U.S. Automobiles and light vehicles account for 63 percent of fuel purchases.