The National Highway Traffic Administration has released its safety facts data for 2010 regarding the number of people killed or injured on the road by large trucks. Large trucks are defined as having a gross vehicle weight rating of greater than 10,000 pounds and are often referred to as semi’s, 18-wheelers, over-the-road vehicles or tractor trailers. Seventy six of these large trucks were involved in fatal crashes in Missouri during 2010. As we have mentioned previously in this blog, the vast weight and size discrepancy between tractor trailers and passenger vehicles creates exceptional dangers on the highway.
In 2010, there were 276,000 semis and other large over the road trucks involved in crashes resulting in 3,675 people killed and 80,000 injured. This number of fatalities represents a nine percent increase over the fatalities recorded in 2009. Seventy six percent of these fatalities were occupants of other vehicles.
The number of injuries from crashes with large trucks also increased over the 2009 numbers by eight percent. Again, roughly three quarters of those injured were occupants of other vehicles.
The statistical conclusions also noted that large trucks were more likely to be involved in fatal multi-vehicle accidents than passenger vehicles. Eighty two percent of fatal crashes involved large trucks as opposed to fifty eight percent for passenger vehicle only collisions.
Forty seven percent of the crashes involved the truck and the passenger vehicle traveling the same direction, nine percent while the other vehicle was turning, 13 percent while negotiating curves and ten percent of the crashes occurred while either the truck or vehicle was stopped in a traffic lane. Thirty percent involved both vehicles being impacted in the front. Large trucks were three times more likely to be struck in the rear than the other vehicle.
As pointed out before in this blog, the point is simply to steer clear of these vehicle while traveling on the highway. Be aware of their presence, and give them plenty of room both in front of you and behind you. Trucks are an important part of our commerce but need not be a large contributor to personal tragedy.