It is hard to travel on Kentucky roadways without encountering a large truck. Semi-trucks and tractor-trailer trucks are heavily utilized, as they are a valuable mode of transportation to ship goods short and long distances. With an influx in orders and an ongoing demand to keep stores stocked, now, more than ever, motorists are sharing the road with commercial trucks. Truck drivers are working long hours, transporting goods intra and interstate. While truck driver fatigue has always been a concern and a risk addressed, this does not mean a driver will take breaks when needed or drive as safely as they should. Thus, truck accidents remain an ongoing concern.
Based on current data, there were a total of 4,136 deaths in large truck crashes occurring gin 2018. Of these, 67% were occupants in the other vehicle struck by the truck and 15% were pedestrians, bicyclists or motorcyclists. When compared to the data collected in 2009, this is a 31% increase in fatalities. Additionally, the number of large truck occupant deaths increased 51% since 2009.
When considering all motor vehicle fatalities that occurred in 2018, 11% were truck crashes. Of the fatal large truck crashes occurring in 2018, 74% involved tractor-trailers while 27% involved single-unit trucks. It is important to note that some involved both a tractor-trailer and a single-unit truck.
When it comes to where truck crashes are likely to occur, data suggested that the vast majority of crashes occurred on major roads other than interstates and freeways, accounting for 52% of fatal truck crashes. It was found that 33% occurred on interstates and freeways and 14% occurred on minor roads.
Collisions involving large trucks can be destructive and result in catastrophic injuries. The size and weight of large trucks can crush a passenger vehicle, resulting in severe or fatal injuries to victims. Thus, those impacted by a truck accident should be aware of their rights and options, such as filing a personal injury action or wrongful death suit. These civil actions can help determine cause and liability of the crash in addition to calculating losses to help with compensation recovery.