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How Many Accidents Are Caused By Semi Trucks?

December 17, 2020 by Steven M. Gursten

To address how many accidents are caused by semi trucks, it is important to note that a majority of these crashes are brought on by drivers of the passenger car. These type of fatal crashes account for 13% of all fatal accidents nationwide. The most common reasons for these types crashes include speeding, driver distraction, failing to yield, and improper lane use.

How Many Accidents Are Caused By Semi Trucks?

Fatal accidents caused by semi trucks nationwide

Of the 33,654 fatal automobile crashes that occurred nationwide in 2018, 4,415 of them were accidents caused by semi trucks. Those fatal crashes resulted in 4,951 fatalities.

Michigan fatal tractor trailer crash statistics

There were 105 tractor trailers involved in the 902 fatal motor vehicle crashes that occurred in Michigan in 2019. Those fatal crashes resulted in 106 people being killed.

Michigan injury accidents caused by semi trucks

There were 2,805 tractor trailers involved in the 54,539 personal injury-related motor vehicle crashes that occurred in Michigan in 2019. Those personal injury crashes resulted in 3,685 people being injured.

What is the fatality rate for accidents caused by semi trucks?

The fatality rate for tractor trailer-involved crashes nationwide in 2018 was 45% higher than the overall fatality rate for all motor vehicle crashes. In Michigan in 2019, the fatality rate for tractor trailer-involved crashes was more than 50% higher than the overall fatality rate for all motor vehicle crashes.

In 2018, the national fatality rate for tractor trailer-involved fatal crashes was 1.62 based on 100 million vehicle miles traveled by large trucks, whereas the overall fatality rate for all fatal crashes was 1.13 based on 100 million vehicle miles traveled by all motor vehicles.

In 2019 in Michigan, the fatal crash rate for tractor trailers was 1.5 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled compared to the overall fatal crash rate of 0.9 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled.

General causes

The general causes of semi truck accidents include:

  • Driver fatigue
  • Distracted driving
  • Improper maintenance
  • Defective equipment
  • Careless/reckless driving
  • Alcohol use
  • Drug use
  • Speeding
  • Violation of trucking laws and regulations
  • Driver inexperience
  • Improper loading

Most common contributing factors to fatal tractor trailer crashes nationwide

The most common “driver-related factor” in fatal accidents caused by semi trucks were:

  • Speeding of any kind
  • Distraction/Inattention
  • Failure to yield right of way
  • Impairment
  • Careless driving
  • Failure to keep in proper lane

Most common contributing factors to tractor trailer crashes in Michigan

The following were the top driving behaviors that contributed to tractor trailer crashes in Michigan in 2019:

  • Unable to stop in an assured clear distance: 1,500 drivers in all crashes; 3 in fatal crashes; and 390 in injury crashes
  • Failing to yield and disregarding traffic control signals: 1,134 drivers in all crashes; 5 in fatal crashes; and 283 in injury crashes
  • Speeding: 891 drivers in all crashes; 8 in fatal crashes; and 184 in injury crashes
  • Improper lane use: 874 drivers in all crashes; 0 in fatal crashes; and 67 in injury crashes
  • Careless/negligent driving: 367 drivers in all crashes; 4 in fatal crashes; and 69 in injury crashes

Need help finding the right lawyer? Call Michigan Auto Law first

If you have been injured or lost a loved one in an accident caused by a semi truck and would like to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney, call toll free anytime 24/7 at (800) 777-0028 for a free consultation with one of our attorneys. You can also get help from an experienced attorney by emailing [email protected] or you can use the chat feature on our website.

(Sources: Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts 2018, U.S.DOT, FMCSA-Analysis Division, Published September 2020, Trends Table 4. Large Truck Fatal Crash Statistics, 1975-2018, Trends Table 6. All Motor Vehicle Fatal Crash Statistics, 1975-2018, People Table 29. Drivers of Large Trucks in Fatal Crashes by Driver Related Factors and Violations Recorded, 2016-2018; Michigan Traffic Crash Facts, Statewide, 2019, Vehicle/Driver, Vehicle/Driver, “Vehicle Type and Crash Involvement,” “CDL Truck/Bus”; Michigan Traffic Crash Facts, Statewide, 2019, Vehicle/Driver, Heavy Truck, Heavy Truck/Bus Involved Crashes, “Hazardous Action”; Michigan Traffic Crash Facts, Fact Sheets, 2019, “Heavy Trucks/Buses”; Michigan Traffic Crash Facts, “2019 Quick Facts”)

How Many Accidents Are Caused By Semi Trucks?

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