For those driving in a regular car on Alabama roads, an 18-wheeler vehicle represents a concern due to its size and weight. Accidents between large trucks and passenger vehicles or motorcycles often result in serious injuries or fatalities to the driver of the smaller vehicle.
A quick look at some recent statistics show that accidents and deaths involving large trucks are on the rise across the U.S.
An uptick in accidents
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes increased by 10 percent from 2016 to 2017. These numbers rose from 4251 to 4657. The large truck involvement rate (measured as fatal crashes per 100 million miles of travel) also increased, but by only 6 percent. Large truck injury crashes rose to 107,000 incidents in 2017, an increase of 5 percent. Overall, the trend for large truck accidents declined from highs in the early years of the 2000s but has since risen again in recent years. A different methodology, though, for measuring crash rates makes precise comparisons for years before 2016 dubious.
A look at other factors
The FMCSA also looks at many other areas related to crashes involving large trucks, including the location of accidents. Rural areas, accounting for approximately 57 percent, saw the largest percentage of fatal truck accidents. When it came to work zone fatalities, 30 percent involved at least one large truck. The majority of crashes concerning large trucks resulted in only one fatality. The majority of casualties, 82 percent, happened to a person other than the occupant of the large truck.