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How dangerous are trucks?

Sharing the road with 18-wheelers can be downright scary. Yet, not all fears are rational. Should you be scared of trucks when driving or not?

The National Safety Council’s 2020 truck crash statistics can help determine the answer. They found just under 5,000 people died in truck crashes, and just under 150,000 suffered injuries requiring medical attention in them. How does that compare to crashes involving other vehicles?

Deaths in truck crashes

Large trucks accounted for 10% of all vehicle miles traveled and 9% of all fatal crashes. That alone does not sound too bad as it is roughly proportionate.

Yet, delving deeper, you find that 71% of the people who died in truck crashes were in the other vehicle. In other words, truck drivers who crash endanger others much more than they endanger themselves. That figure is even worse in Lousiana, where 77% of those killed in truck crashes were in the other vehicle.

What about injuries?

The injury rate in truck crashes was again heavily tilted against those in other vehicles. They suffered 68% of all injuries.

It is clear that being extremely cautious around trucks is wise as the odds are stacked against you if one collides with you. Trucks are always going to crash because truck drivers are always going to make mistakes. The massive shortage of drivers in the industry is not helping either, with many companies pushing their drivers even harder.

Staying as far away from trucks as possible decreases the chance that a truck driver error affects you. If one does, all you can do is get help to find out more about claiming injury compensation.