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Are semi-trucks becoming more of a safety risk for drivers?

On Behalf of | Mar 26, 2024 | Truck Accident Injuries |

Semi-trucks have been a safety concern for as long as these massive commercial vehicles have shared the road with passenger vehicles. Collisions between cars and semi-trucks can leave family vehicles unsafe to drive and may put people in the hospital.

People tend to feel relatively safe in traffic. After all, the majority of trips end without any crashes or even close class. Drivers may also trust that their vehicles can protect them if a crash occurs. Personal vehicles have gotten safer in recent years. Improvements in crash testing and design practices can reduce the severity of collisions that occur.

Despite those improvements in safety technology, people may feel like they hear more stories about semi-truck crashes now than they did a few years ago. Is it true that collisions with 18-wheelers have become more of a traffic safety concern in recent years?

Semi-truck crash rates are concerningly high

When looking at trends in vehicle collisions, there have been some alarming changes in recent years. Some of the most concerning shifts include an increase in semi-truck collisions. Overall, crashes involving semi-trucks have been on the rise. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) noted a 26% increase in semi-truck crashes between 2021 and 2022. When looking at fatal crashes, there was an 18% increase between 2020 and 2021.

The 5,700 fatal semi-truck crashes in 2021 also represented a 49% increase over the total deaths reported a decade prior. That increase dwarfs the increase in the number of miles traveled by semi-trucks over the same period, which only increased by 22%.

Factors ranging from harsh employment practices and increasingly erratic traffic behavior may contribute to the concerning recent increase in semi-truck crashes, particularly fatal ones. Drivers may want to take greater care when driving in close proximity to semi-trucks, but they unfortunately have no control over the transportation industry or the conduct of individual commercial drivers.

Anyone involved in a commercial vehicle collision can anticipate a very complex compensation process ahead due to commercial insurance requirements, the number of potentially liable parties involved and the likely severity of the crash. Pursuing an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit may be necessary if a semi-truck operator, their employer or any other related party is to blame for a recent wreck.