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How Many Accidents Are Caused By Semi Trucks?

August 31, 2023 by Steven M. Gursten

How many accidents are caused by semi trucks?

In 2021, 5,149 fatal accidents were caused by semi trucks in the U.S. in. As a result, 5,788 people lost their lives. That same year, there were 110,000 injury accidents caused by semi trucks, resulting in 155,000 people being injured.

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

Fatal accidents caused by semi trucks nationwide

Of the 39,508 fatal motor vehicle crashes that occurred nationwide in 2021, 5,149 of them were accidents caused by semi-trucks. Those fatal truck crashes resulted in 5,788 deaths.

Michigan fatal tractor trailer crash statistics

There were 105 tractor trailers involved in the 1,053 fatal motor vehicle crashes that occurred in Michigan in 2022. Those fatal crashes resulted in 105 people being killed.

Michigan semi truck injury crashes

There were 2,759 tractor trailers involved in the 51,066 personal injury-related motor vehicle crashes that occurred in Michigan in 2022. Those personal injury crashes resulted in 3,632 people being injured.

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

The fatality rate for tractor trailer-involved crashes nationwide in 2021 was 29% higher than the overall fatality rate for all motor vehicle crashes. In Michigan in 2022, the fatality rate for tractor trailer-involved crashes was more than 28% higher than the overall fatality rate for all motor vehicle crashes.

In 2021, the national fatality rate for tractor trailer-involved fatal crashes was 1.77 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled by large trucks, whereas the overall fatality rate for all fatal crashes was 1.37 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled by all motor vehicles.

In 2022 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 1.171 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled.

What causes most semi truck accidents?

The causes for most semi truck accidents where the truck driver can be at-fault for a crash include:

  • Driving while fatigue
  • Weather conditions
  • Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol
  • Careless/reckless driving
  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving
  • Improper maintenance
  • Defective equipment
  • Violation of trucking laws and regulations
  • Driver inexperience
  • Improper loading
  • Road conditions

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 2022:

  • Unable to stop in an assured clear distance: 1,502 drivers in all crashes; 5 in fatal crashes; and 353 in injury crashes
  • Failing to yield and disregarding traffic control signals: 1,173 drivers in all crashes; 8 in fatal crashes; and 296 in injury crashes
  • Speeding: 759 drivers in all crashes; 1 in fatal crashes; and 167 in injury crashes
  • Improper lane use: 907 drivers in all crashes; 2 in fatal crashes; and 84 in injury crashes
  • Careless/negligent driving: 341 drivers in all crashes; 2 in fatal crashes; and 56 in injury crashes

Injured in an accident caused by a semi truck? Call our attorneys now!

If you were injured in a semi truck accident, call now (800) 968-1001 for a free consultation with one of our experienced semi truck accident lawyers. There is no cost or obligation. You can also visit our contact page or use the chat feature on our website.

Michigan Auto Law is Michigan’s largest and most successful law firm that specializes exclusively in helping people who have been injured in auto accidents.

Our secret? Our car accident attorneys deliberately handle fewer cases than other personal injury law firms.  This allows us to focus more time and attention on our cases.

Unlike other law firms, our auto accident attorneys are never too busy to promptly return phone calls and answer questions. 

We have more than 2,000 5-Star Reviews that reflect this care and attention to detail.

More importantly, this client-focused approach leads to better and faster settlements for our clients. Michigan Auto Law has recovered more million-dollar settlements and trial verdicts for motor vehicle accidents than any other lawyer or law firm in Michigan. We’ve also recovered the highest ever reported truck accident and car accident settlement in the state.

Call now so we can start making a real difference for you.

(Sources: Source: Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts 2021 U.S.DOT, FMCSA-Analysis Division (Published November 2023), Trends, Trends Table 4. Large Truck Fatal Crash Statistics, 1975-2021 (“Fatal Crashes Involving Large Trucks”; “Total Fatalities in Large Truck Crashes” (“Rates per 100 Million Vehicle Miles Traveled by Large Trucks”)); Trends Table 6. All Motor Vehicle Fatal Crash Statistics, 1975-2021 (“Fatalities in All Crashes”); Trends Table 7. Large Truck Injury Crash Statistics, 2001-2021 (“Injury Crashes Involving Large Trucks”; “Persons Injured in Large Truck Crashes”); People Table 29. Drivers of Large Trucks in Fatal Crashes by Driver-Related Factors and Violations Recorded, 2018-2021; Michigan Traffic Crash Facts, Statewide, 2022, Vehicle/Driver, Heavy Truck, Heavy Truck/Bus Involved Crashes, “Hazardous Action”; Michigan Traffic Crash Facts, Fact Sheets, 2022, “Heavy Trucks/Buses”; Michigan Traffic Crash Facts, “2022 Quick Facts”)

How Many Accidents Are Caused By Semi Trucks?

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