Large trucks, including 18-wheelers and commercial vehicles, pose a unique threat to others on U.S. highways and roads, especially in Washington state. For instance, in May of 2017, a semi-truck driver was killed in a multivehicle accident “that spread wreckage across nearly all lanes of Interstate 5.”1 In September of 2017, a woman was killed in a head-on collision with a log truck in Spokane Valley.2
Due to many factors, large semi-truck accidents are more likely to result in the death and/or serious injury of any persons involved compared to other types of accidents. In fact, according to 2015 statistics, accidents involving a large truck are twice as likely to be fatal in Washington state compared to accidents involving only passenger cars.
Statistics on Trucking Accidents in Washington State
In its 2015 Annual Collision Summary, the Washington State Department of Transportation reported the following facts:
- A crash occurred every 4.5 minutes.3
- A person died in a crash every 16 hours.3
- A person was injured in a crash every 4 hours.3
The numbers behind these statistics are startling as well. In 2015, a total of 117,053 collisions happened in Washington state.3 Of these crashes, 36,531 were injury collisions, in which the parties involved sustained minor and/or serious injuries.3 Furthermore, there were 499 fatal collisions, which resulted in the deaths of 551 people.3
In terms of truck accidents, 38 large trucks were involved in fatal collisions out of the 6,091 trucks involved in all types of collisions.3 In other words, if the accident involved a commercial truck, there was a 0.6% chance of the collision being fatal in Washington state during 2015.
Comparatively, there were 195,195 passenger cars involved in accidents during 2015, with just 641 involved in fatal collisions.3 If a passenger car was involved in a crash, there was only a 0.3% chance of the collision being fatal.
According to these statistics, a large truck in a crash, therefore, poses twice the threat of fatality compared to passenger cars in Washington state.
Why Truck Accidents Are More Likely to Be Fatal
Essentially, truck crashes are twice as likely to be fatal because of the truck’s size and weight. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), these large trucks have a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) greater than 10,000 pounds, which is 2.5 times heavier than the average passenger vehicle.4, 5
Because of their weight, large trucks take twice as much time and distance as passenger vehicles to stop. Therefore, there is less room for error and misjudgment when driving these trucks. Also, their larger weight can cause more damage to other vehicles in a crash, which can seriously injure or kill the drivers and/or occupants of these smaller vehicles. Lastly, these trucks are easier to rollover, which can cause the driver to lose control of the truck and crash into other vehicles.
Seriously Injured in a Truck Accident? We Can Help
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a truck accident, our experienced attorneys at Shannon Law Group, P.C., can help you get the compensation you deserve. For assistance with your semi-truck accident case, please call us at (312) 578-9501 or toll-free at (886) 881-9980. You can fill out our online contact form, too. We will respond to you as soon as possible. A free, no-obligation consultation is available as well.