Injuries and Fatalities from Large Truck Accidents on the Rise in Wisconsin
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), about “1 in 10 highway deaths occurs in a crash involving a large truck” in the United States.1 In fact, the number of people “who died in large truck crashes was 27 percent higher in 2016 than in 2009.”1
In Wisconsin, the number of deaths and injuries from large truck crashes has increased over the last few years as well. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation reported a total of 7,461 large truck crashes in 2016, compared to 5,882 crashes in 2012 when it was at its lowest.2 There are many potential reasons behind this increase—but first, let’s look at the statistics.
Injuries from Large Truck Accidents in Wisconsin, 2011-2016
In 2016, there were 2,342 injuries reported in Wisconsin from large truck accidents.2 This number is the highest it’s been since 2011. The year 2016 also saw a 30 percent increase in injuries compared to 2012, which had the least amount of injuries documented (1,800).2
Typically, injuries caused by a large truck crash tend to be more severe, especially for occupants of smaller passenger vehicles. Therefore, this increase in injuries is a cause for concern in Wisconsin.
Fatalities from Large Truck Crashes in Wisconsin, 2011-2016
The statistics on fatalities from large truck crashes have varied between 2011 and 2016. At its highest, there were 85 fatalities reported in 2013.2 However, there was a moderate decrease in 2014 and 2015, where the number of fatalities dipped below 65.2 In 2016, there was a 27 percent increase in fatalities from 2015, with 79 deaths reported in total compared to 62.2
3 Possible Factors in Wisconsin Truck Accident Crashes
In a 2015 report, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that large-truck drivers “have the highest percentage (20.1%) of previously recorded crashes compared to drivers of other vehicle types.”3Therefore, large-truck drivers have a higher chance of causing an accident that results in the injury and death of motorists in Wisconsin.
A large-truck driver may cause an accident if he or she does the following:
- Braking too late. A large truck “often weighs 20-30 times as much as passenger cars,” so it can take “20-40 percent farther than cars to stop.”2 The distance is “greater on wet and slippery roads or with poorly maintained brakes.”2
- Being fatigued. Drivers of large trucks are allowed by “federal hours-of-service regulations to drive up to 11 hours at a stretch.”2 Truck drivers who are on the road for longer are more likely to fall asleep at the wheel or make crucial errors while driving.
- Driving too fast. On Wisconsin rural freeways, large trucks can travel up to 70 miles per hour.4 The faster a truck is traveling, the more distance it needs to stop. Therefore, there is less room for error when a truck is speeding compared to other smaller vehicles.
Seriously Injured in a Truck Accident? We’re Here to Help
Victims of truck accidents are often left vulnerable. They may have serious injuries, along with large medical bills they cannot pay. If you or someone you love is in this unfortunate situation, our attorneys at Shannon Law Group, P.C., are ready to shoulder these burdens for you.
We will not only get the most compensation for you but also make sure your needs are taken care of. Please call us at (312) 578-9501 or toll-free at (886) 881-9980. You can fill out our online contact form, too. A free, no-obligation consultation is available as well.