Every year, thousands of people are injured or killed in accidents involving semi-trucks. An estimated 438,000 trucks were involved in crashes in a single year. These large vehicles aren’t always operated correctly, and they can crush just about anything in their path. As the number of semis on the road increases, so does the number of accidents per year. Here are the 18-wheeler accident statistics according to studies from 2014:

United States Semi-Truck Accident Statistics

Total Number of Injury Accidents

In 2014 alone, 88,000 18-wheelers were involved in accidents that led to injuries. This was a steep incline from the previous year, which only saw 73,000 tractor-trailer crashes that led to an injury.

At 27,000, semi-truck drivers made up only 23% of those injured in truck accidents. 82,000 (74%) were occupants of other vehicles, and 2,000 (3%) were not in a vehicle at the time of the accident. In total, 111,000 people were injured in 2014 tractor-trailer accidents.

Total Number of Fatal Crashes

3,744 semi-trucks were involved in fatal accidents in 2014, meaning that 8.3% of total fatal crashes had semis involved.

Only 17% (657) of the fatalities in 18-wheeler accidents were the driver themselves. The percentage of other vehicle occupants that died was similar to the percentage of those injured at 73% (2,857). The number of nonoccupants killed in 2014 semi-truck accidents was 10% (389). In total, 3,903 people were killed in 18-wheeler accidents.

Fatal Crashes by Location and Time of Day

Nearly ¾ of the fatal truck accidents occurred on non-interstate roads. 61% of fatal semi-truck accidents were on rural roads instead of urban roads.

The majority of fatal semi crashes occurred on weekdays during daylight hours. 79% of 2014 fatal semi-truck accidents were on weekdays and 64% were during the day. For those crashes that occurred on weekends, however, the majority were at night (63%).

Factors Leading to 18-Wheeler Accidents

Oftentimes, drivers of 18-wheelers are forced to drive for several hours straight in improperly maintained vehicles, thus leading to accidents. At other times, reckless driving or other factors may lead to the accident. According to a study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the factors that led to 2014 semi-truck accidents were

  • Improper maintenance – 35% (brake problems – 29%; tire problems – 6%)

  • Reckless driving – 28% (traveling too fast for conditions – 23%; following too close – 5%)

  • Employer pressure – 23% (fatigue – 13%; driver felt under pressure from carrier – 10%)

  • Inattention – 23%

  • Unfamiliarity with roadway – 22%

  • Roadway problems – 20%

  • Other – 29% (over-the-counter drug use – 17%; jackknife – 5%; cargo shift – 4%; illness – 3%)

Texas 18-Wheeler Fatal Crash Statistics

Texas saw the highest number of truck-related fatalities in 2014 at 553. This was almost twice as many as the state with the second-highest number of truck-related fatalities. 14.2% of US semi-truck accidents occurred in Texas, which is nearly twice as much as the next highest state and over 10% more than most other states. In other words, you have a much higher chance of getting killed by a tractor-trailer in Texas than you do in any other state.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of a semi-truck accident, contact The Dashner Law Firm today. Geoffrey Dashner and his team have extensive experience getting people compensation for injuries and wrongful deaths caused by the actions of 18-wheeler drivers. Contact them today to schedule a free consultation.

Skip to content