Tractor-Trailer Accident Information

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Semi-truck accident statistics


semi-tractor-trailer truck is the organization of a tractor and one, or more, semi-trailers to transport goods. A semi-trailer joins to the tractor with a class of hitch termed a fifth-wheel. This is also commonly known as an 18 wheeler or an Eighteen wheeler. The tractor system typically has two or three axles; those produced for hauling heavy-duty commercial building devices may have as numerous as five, some frequently being lift axles.

The most typical tractor cab design has a front-engine, one steering axle, and two drive axles. The fifth-wheel trailer coupling on many tractor trucks is adjustable fore and aft, to allow fitting in the weight division over its rear axle(s). The US federal government, which only controls the Interstate Highways, does not set length specifications (except on automobile and boat transporters), only minimums. Tractors can draw two or three trailers if the joining is allowed in that state. Weight maximums are 20,000 lb for a single axle, 34,000 lb on a tandem, and 80,000 lb sum for any carrier or mixture. There is a maximum width of 8.5 ft and no maximum height.

Different states control all other roads, and laws differ broadly. The maximum weight varies between 80,000 lb to 171,000 lb, depending on the mixture. Most states regulate the movement of more extensive tandem trailer settings such as triple systems and turnpike doubles. Intelligence for restricting the legal trailer arrangements combine both safety matters and the difficulty of designing and building roads that can provide the larger wheelbase of these carriers and the larger least turning radii affiliated to them. These configurations are typically confined to the Interstates roadways. Double setups are not limited to specific roads any more than a single setup. They are also not restricted by weather circumstances or operational difficulty.

Semi-trucks use air pressure, as opposed to hydraulic fluid, to activate the brakes. The application of air hoses provides for the efficiency of coupling and uncoupling of trailers from the tractor. The most typical breakdown is brake fade, regularly created when the drums or discs and the linings heat from extreme use.

The parking brake of the tractor and the emergency brake of the trailer are spring brakes that need air pressure to release. They implement when air pressure releases from the system and disengages when air pressure is provided. This design feature assures that if air pressure to either unit has failed, the truck will stop, rather than proceeding without brakes. The trailer controllers link to the tractor through gladhand connectors, which give air pressure, and an electrical cable, which presents power to the lights and any specific characteristics of the trailer.


Covering the past numerous years, the amount of big trucks on our roadways has grown. Accompanying the expanding number of miles driven by truck drivers has come to an overall rise in crash frequencies and truck-related collision mortality. We have assembled and investigated years worth of deadly crash data to present this complete compilation of truck accident statistics and data.

Every year, both lethal crashes and total deaths grew – with an 11 percent rise in lethal truck collisions and a 10 percent rise in deaths from between 2017 and 2015.


Collisions in the commercial trucking business

In the United States, approximately 70% of all goods are carried by trucking, estimating for $670 billion worth of manufactured and retail products being moved by truck each year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2015, there were roughly 11,000,000 large trucks recorded, while in 2016, that number grew to roughly 11,500,00(NHTSA, 2019). We are extremely reliant upon large trucks.

Big trucks are deemed medium or heavy trucks (barring buses and motor homes) with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) more substantial than 10,000 pounds; theses can be commercial or non-commercial trucks. The bulk of these (roughly 80%) of the trucks included in lethal traffic collisions in 2017 were large heavy trucks (GVWR > 26,000 lbs.), while that figure was roughly 75% in 2016.

Large trucks ARE estimated for approximately 10% of the carriers included in deadly accidents in 2017. Of the 4,500 or so large trucks included in those collisions, about 70% were combination trucks (tractor-trailer, doubles, a straight truck with trailer, etc.)

  • Additional Research:

    • According to NHTSA statistics, fatal incidents involving tractor-trailers increased by about 6% in 2017 from 2016, and collisions concerning straight trucks were up by roughly 20%.

    • From 2015 to 2017- the number of people killed in cars varied from 2 to roughly 1,400 dependent upon the state.

    • From 2015 to 2017, roughly 30 states each had more than 100 passengers of other cars killed in large-truck crashes, about 20 had higher than 200, and 10 had higher than 300 deaths as a consequence of large truck collisions.

    • In 2017, the highest percentage of drivers who had consumed alcohol and were included in lethal crashes and who had blood alcohol concentrations above the legal limit were 1) motorcycle drivers (30%), 2) passenger cars(20%), 3) small truck drivers (20%), and then 4) large truck drivers (5%). These numbers were comparable to the preceding two years.

    • Larger-truck drivers had a greater percentage (21%) of earlier registered collisions as compared to the operators of other vehicle types such as motorcycles, commuter cars, smaller trucks, etc..

The majority of deadly trucking accidents transpire during the week, with the least amount occurring on Sundays, succeeded by Saturday.

Deadly collisions do not correspond with normal rush hours. The most significant amount of collisions transpires from 10:30 am and 4:30 pm, climaxing just after noon time with 600 lethal collisions.

Most lethal trucking collisions happen in rural areas on interstate highways and main arterial roads.












* Accident figures are approximates based on the U.S, government data

The bulk of deaths concerning large truck collisions are passenger vehicle inhabitants. Passenger vehicles are particularly exposed in crashes with large trucks clearly because of their more modest size; trucks can weigh 25-35 times as much as a passenger car and can be higher with more elevated ground clearing. This can produce underride crashes, where the vehicle slips beneath the truck, frequently ending in overwhelming injuries for the car inhabitants.

Despite who was fault the collision was, the reality is that there was a steady rise in the number of losses as an outcome of truck/passenger car accidents each year within 2015 and 2017. It is also noteworthy that the named fault is not always accurate, and a careful examination of particular accidents may expose evidence not available at the start of the investigation.

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