18-Wheeler Accident Statistics

A Semi-truck is pulled over to the side of the road with its trailer tilted, with the words, 18-wheeler accident statistics.

Some of the most horrific automobile accidents involve 18-wheelers. Over the years, the amount of fatal crashes involving 18-wheelers has steadily been on the rise as more and more of them take to the road. Here are the latest statistics on tractor-trailer accidents in the United States based on the data collected by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration:

Number of 18-Wheeler Wrecks

In 2017, there were 450,000 police-reported accidents involving 18-wheelers. Of these 450,000 accidents, 4,237 were fatal. Twenty-three percent of those crashes (344,000) resulted in injury. This is a 9% increase from the year 2016.

To paint an even broader picture of the frequency of semi-truck accidents in the United States, there were 13 fatal large truck accidents per million people in the United States in 2017, which was a 23% increase from 2011.

Comparison between 2016 and 2017

The number of 18-wheelers involved in fatal crashes increased by 10% between 2016 and 2017. In 2016, there were 4,251 semi-trucks involved in accidents; this number rose in 2017 to 4,657.

The number of tractor-trailer crashes that resulted in injury increased by 5%from 2016, going from 102,000 people injured to 107,000. Accidents that only resulted in damage to property, such as a semi-truck hitting a parked car, rose by 3% from 2016, going from 351,000 accidents to 363,000

Semi Truck Accidents by Location and Time

The most common areas where accidents involving 18-wheelers took place were rural areas or interstate highways. 57% of fatal crashes involving a tractor-trailer occurred in rural areas, and 27% of them occurred on the interstate. 13% of fatal semi-truck accidents took place on both the interstate and in a rural area.

Nighttime was when crashes involving 18-wheelers most frequently took place. 35% of these accidents resulted in a fatality, 27% resulted in injury, and 20% only resulted in property damage.

18-wheeler accidents most commonly occurred on weekdays. Of fatality accidents involving large trucks, 83% were on weekdays. Of all non-fatal accidents, 88% of them took place on a weekday.

Age of the Tractor-Trailer Drivers

Of the 4,600 drivers of 18-wheelers that were involved in a fatal accident in 2017, 270 of those (6%), were 25 years or younger. 6% of large truck drivers involved in a fatal accident were 66 years old or older.

Seatbelt Vs. Not Wearing a Seatbelt

Of the occupants of 18-wheelers involved in a fatal accident, 13% were not wearing their seatbelts.45% of those not wearing their seatbelt (322) were killed in the accident. Out of 4,310 tractor-trailer drivers who were wearing their seatbelt, only 378 were killed in the accident. Of the total 4,600 fatal wrecks, 434 of the drivers were not wearing a safety belt when the accident occurred.

State of the Drivers of 18-Wheeler Collisions

Drugs played a part in 252 of the 4,600 fatal large truck accidents in 2017. In 2017, at least one driver-related problem/factor was responsible for 32% of 18-wheeler accidents in the United States. Here are the statistics of the most frequent causes of 18-wheeler driver fault accidents;

  • Speeding –299 accidents (6.5%)
  • Distraction and Inattention –263 of accidents (5.7%)
  • Impairment (fatigue, driving under the influence, illness, etc.) –184 accidents (4.0%)

Out of the fatal large truck accidents, 841 of the fatalities were occupants of an 18-wheeler. This is a 16% increase from the 725 fatalities that occurred in 2016. 85% of the 18-wheeler occupants that died as a result of the accident were the drivers.

18-Wheeler Accident Statistics for the State of Texas

In Texas, 566 18-wheeler accidents resulted in a fatality. 649 people were killed in those accidents. The number of 18-wheelers involved in accidents was 621 in 2017.

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident involving an 18-wheeler, the aftermath can be devastating. Serious injuries or fatalities can put your life on hold. If this has happened to you, contact Branch & Dhillon, P.C.to receive a free consultation. We can help you seek out compensation for medical expenses and damages after an accident.