Large trucks make up 5% of all registered vehicles and 9% of fatal accidents in the United States. While large trucks don’t cause more accidents than other vehicles, these collisions often result in deadlier crashes, with a higher number of severe injuries or deaths.

Trucks present a danger to other vehicles on the roads because of various factors, including their size and weight. To make matters worse, if you’ve been involved in a truck accident, you’re going to be up against a powerful insurance company set on denying or devaluing your claim. That’s why working with an experienced South Carolina truck accident lawyer is essential to help you determine if you have a truck accident claim.

How Often Do Truck Accidents Result in Injuries and Deaths?

The danger of semi-trucks on interstate highways and roads is due to the fact that, under federal regulation, they can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. In South Carolina, semi-trucks can be up to 8’6″ wide and 13’6″ tall.

On the other hand, passenger vehicles weigh an average of only 4,156 pounds. Large trucks can cause tremendous damage and injuries when involved in a collision with a single passenger vehicle.

In 2019, 5,005 fatal crashes involved large trucks, up from 4,909 in 2018. There was a 4% increase in fatal crashes per miles traveled for large trucks. Large trucks were likewise involved in more injury crashes, increasing by 6% to 119,000.

Large truck crashes are also more likely to be in deadly multi-vehicle collisions. A total of 80% of fatal truck crashes involved a collision with another vehicle, compared to 61% of fatal crashes caused by someone in a passenger car. These numbers highlight that although large trucks are involved in fewer crashes overall, they are more likely to result in other road users’ injury or death.

Who Are Most Likely to Become Victims of Truck Accidents?

Most of these victims were in small cars sharing the road with tractor-trailers. About 68% of truck accident victims are passengers and drivers of smaller vehicles such as cars, light trucks like pickups, and SUVs.

Truck accidents can also endanger nearby individuals on the road. 16% of truck accidents involve pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcycle riders. Only 15% of victims in truck crashes are the drivers and other occupants of large trucks.

Common Types of Big Truck Accidents

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that various types of truck accidents caused the following crash deaths in 2020:

  • 30% of passenger vehicle occupants died from head-on collisions with the front of the truck
  • 25% of passenger occupants were killed in side-impact truck accidents
  • About 23% involved the front of the passenger vehicle hitting the truck’s rear side

In addition to head-on, side-impact, and passenger vehicle rear-end collisions, large trucks can jackknife or cause underride accidents. Jackknife trailers resulted in 4,862 fatal accidents in 2018, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The Government Accountability Office reported 219 deaths on average per year due to underride accidents, based on data from 2008 through 2017.

Developing a Claim Based on Your Truck Crash with a South Carolina Lawyer

If you were involved in a South Carolina truck accident, contact an experienced lawyer from the Joye Law Firm to discuss your legal options, including filing a lawsuit. We can review your claim and investigate it.

There may be many parties to your accident, ranging from the truck driver to the mechanic maintaining the truck to the trucking company. We can determine who is liable based on evidence of the accident. We can negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf and help take your case to your court if needed.

Speak to Our Team About Your Truck Collision Case for Free

The South Carolina truck crash injury lawyers at the Joye Law Firm can evaluate your claim and help you recover compensation for your injuries. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation.

About the Author

Mark Joye is the Head of the Litigation Department at the Joye Law Firm. A Board-Certified Trial Advocate with nearly 30 years of litigation experience, he currently serves on the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice and is a past president of the South Carolina Association for Justice. In a recent trial, Joye headed a trial team that secured $17 million for a family killed in a tractor-trailer accident.

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