While most fatalities in big rig accidents are passenger vehicle occupants, truckers are still at-risk for serious injury or death. In fact, there’s recent evidence that trucker fatality rates are going up. For today’s blog, we wanted to focus on the risks that truckers face when they’re on the road, and how employers should be mitigating those risks.
Motor Vehicle Deaths in Big Rig Crashes
Over 1 in 10 motor vehicle crashes in the United States involve a large truck of some kind, which includes any commercial truck that weighs over 10,000 pounds. In fatal accidents involving both a passenger vehicle and a big rig, passenger vehicle occupants were killed 97% of the time, whereas large truck occupants only made up 3% of deaths.
Does that mean truckers are a lot safer than passenger vehicle occupants? Far from it. If you look at all the crash data for big rig accidents, the actual percentage of large truck occupant deaths is almost six times higher. That indicates that truckers are most likely to die in single-vehicle crashes or in collisions involving another big rig.
The data suggests that 30% of big rig accidents were caused by a tire defect. Other research suggests that poor brakes, wet roads, and truck driver fatigue were all common factors in fatal trucking accidents as well.
The Most Dangerous Window for Truckers
When you look at fatal trucking accidents according to day of the week and time of day, it becomes clear when the most dangerous hours are for truckers. Comparing weekdays to weekends, deadly big rig crashes were 68% likely to occur on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, while only 32% likely to occur on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. Regarding the time of day, the most likely window for big rig accident deaths was 12 PM to 3 PM.
For truckers who work long hours and don’t have enough time to rest, it’s easy to see why the afternoon—the lunch rush, early rush hour, and compounding fatigue—would result in the highest fatality rate.
If you’re a trucker who was injured or harmed while on the job, speak with our Pennsylvania truck driver workers’ comp attorneys in a free consultation. Let’s discuss your options and figure out how to get you back on your feet.