You may be surprised at what day of the week most trucking accident deaths occur. It’s Thursday.
A look at this and other updated fatal truck accident statistics paint a grim picture for drivers sharing the road with big rig truckers.
According to information provided by the nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Thursday is the most deadly day for trucking accidents. This comes from the organization’s review of U.S. truck crashes in 2015, the most recent year such statistics are available.
Fatigued Truckers and End of Work Week
Why Thursday? There is no definitive explanation, but some speculate the reason is truck driver fatigue. Driving across the country since Monday, the working hours accumulate and may catch up to many over-the-road truckers by Thursday. Tired truck drivers, whose focus on the road ahead is tenuous, are a leading cause of catastrophic truck crashes.
That a weekday poses the most serious threat for drivers may not be surprising given that many truckers don’t drive on the weekends. Fewer trucks on the road mean less chance for crashes.
74 Percent of Truck Accident Deaths are People in Other Vehicles
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s 2015 truck crash report has another logical finding. According to the NHTSA, 74 percent of those who died in trucking accidents in 2015 were occupants in other vehicles. Given the size and weight disparity between a tractor-trailer and the typical car, this is not surprising. The NHTSA also reports a 5 percent jump from 2014 to 2015 in terms of people killed in other vehicles.
Perhaps one surprising element of the IIHS 2015 truck crash review is where the majority of crashes occur. Thirty percent of that year’s truck accident fatalities occurred on interstates and freeways. But more than half of the deaths – some 53 percent – happened on other “major roads.”
And not all fatal accidents involved tractor-trailers. A quarter of the 2015 truck crash deaths involved single-unit trucks, also known as straight trucks.
What’s revealed in these truck crash reports should set off alarm bells for truckers and trucking companies. Drivers need to be fully rested. Large commercial vehicles that outweigh other vehicles on the road should be operated at safe speeds. And truck drivers need to be attentive not only on highways but all roads on which they travel.
If you were seriously injured or had a loved one die in a crash with a large commercial truck, you may wish to consult a truck accident attorney to represent your legal rights and pursue just compensation from the negligent parties.
The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertising.
Authored by Gray, Ritter & Graham, P.C., posted in Blog September 19, 2017.