Skip to content


Truck Accident Statistics

Why Truck Accidents Are On the Rise

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), there were 4,842 large trucks involved in fatal crashes in the United States in 2020. While this was a 4% decrease from the previous year, data shows that truck crashes have increased by 33% since 2011. Here are the stats you need to know.

Truck Accident Statistics 2020

The NSC reports the following large truck crash statistics as of 2020:

  • 107,000 large truck crashes resulted in injuries.
  • 4,965 people died in large truck crashes.
  • The number of deaths decreased by 1% from 2019 but increased by 31% since 2011.
  • 71% of large truck crashes involve occupants of other vehicles.
  • Truck occupant deaths accounted for 17% of large truck crashes.
  • Pedestrians and bicyclists accounted for 12% of large truck crash deaths.
  • Truck crashes occurred more on rural roads (54.65%) compared to urban roads (45.35%).
  • Most truck crashes happened during the day (63.45%) compared to nighttime (36.55 %).
  • The top three months where most fatal truck accidents occurred were:
    • October (483)
    • August (431)
    • June (430)

According to the latest data available from the California Highway Patrol (CHP), in 2017, 367 people in our state died in truck crashes and 9,710 were injured.

Why Truck Accidents Occur

The following are the most common ways truck crashes happen on U.S. roads:

Truck Driver Fatigue

Truck drivers often have to meet tight delivery deadlines and may feel pressure to drive for long periods without taking a break. This can lead to drowsy driving, which can be just as dangerous as drunk driving.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is also a factor in truck accidents. Truck drivers may be tempted to use their cell phones while driving or be distracted by other passengers in the cab.

Inclement Weather Conditions

Weather conditions can also contribute to truck accidents. If truck drivers are not used to driving in snow or ice, they may have difficulty controlling the vehicle. Wet or slick roads can also be a contributing factor in a truck crash.

Related Article: How Common is Truck Driver Fatigue?

Staying Safe When Driving Next to Large Trucks

It’s no secret that large trucks are some of the most dangerous vehicles on the road. The massive size and weight of a big rig are no match for smaller passenger vehicles. If you’re driving next to a large truck, there are a few things you can do to stay safe:

  • Be aware of the truck’s blind spots. Trucks have blind spots on all four sides. It’s critical to remember that if you can’t see the driver in their rear-view or side mirrors, they can’t see you.
  • Give the truck plenty of space. Trucks need much more room to stop than cars, so if you’re tailgating a truck, you’re putting yourself in danger.
  • Be extra cautious when passing a truck. Pass on the left side whenever possible and never cut off a truck driver.

Following the above simple tips can help you keep yourself safe when driving next to large trucks.

Contact Our Legal Team For Help After a Truck Crash

Truck accidents can have devastating consequences. If you or someone you know has been involved in a truck accident, it is vital to seek legal counsel to ensure that you are fairly compensated for your injuries. At Caputo and Van Der Walde – Injury & Accident Attorneys, our experienced San Jose personal injury lawyers can help you navigate the complex legal process and protect your rights.

Call us today at (800) 900-0863 to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team.