The United States Department of Transportation has collected annual data on fatalities from truck accidents since 1975. Since the collection began, the lowest number of truck accident fatalities recorded for a single year occurred in 2009.
Unfortunately, the most recent data shows a reversal of that trend. In the 10 years between 2009 and 2019, the most recent year for which data is available, there was a 31% increase in truck accident fatalities in the United States.
Who is at the greatest risk of dying from truck accidents?
The majority of people who die in truck accidents are not occupants of the truck itself. Over two-thirds of the 4,119 fatalities from truck accidents in 2019 were occupants of passenger vehicles such as cars, while another 15% were bicyclists, motorcyclists or pedestrians.
Truck occupants accounted for 16% of the fatalities. However, it is worth noting that the fatality rate for truck occupants in 2019 increased by 51% compared to 2009.
When and where do fatal truck accidents occur?
Fatal truck accidents are most likely to occur on weekdays rather than weekends. The rate of fatalities from truck accidents occurring on Saturday and Sunday combined was nearly equal to that occurring on any given weekday. Truck accidents also tend to occur during the daytime, between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Fatal truck accidents are most likely to occur on major roads other than freeways and interstates.
This data only pertains to fatalities resulting from truck accidents. Even those who survive may experience catastrophic, life-changing injuries as a result of the collision.