It can feel intimidating driving down Maryland roads and seeing a large semi-truck in your rearview mirror. You know there is a major size disparity between you and a truck, and the results can be tragic if an accident occurs.
Increase in truck accident fatalities
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported a 13% increase in fatalities involving at least one large truck in 2021 compared to 2020. Overall, traffic fatalities in 2021 were approximately 10.5% higher than in 2020.
The reports indicate that the fatalities involving large trucks encompassed both commercial and noncommercial trucks weighing over 10,000 pounds. There was a significant rise in such fatalities observed between April and July, as well as between November and December 2021.
Fatalities by the numbers
In 2020, fatal truck accidents numbered 4,965, while there was an increase to 5,601 fatalities in 2021. The total number of traffic accident deaths in 2021 amounted to 42,915, which is an increase from 38,824 fatal accidents in 2020. Consequently, 2021 marked the highest number of automobile fatalities involving trucks in a single year since 2005, and it also represented at that time the largest increase in fatalities recorded in the history of the Fatality Analysis Reporting System.
The anatomy of truck accidents
Distracted driving, failure to adjust to road conditions, driving while tired and engaging in other forms of reckless driving cause fatal truck accidents. Some trucking companies negligently hire and inadequately train drivers, neglect truck maintenance, and require drivers to exceed legal driving limits. Many fatal truck accidents occur due to brake or tire issues.
Operating a passenger vehicle defensively can reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim in a trucking accident. However, individuals involved in serious or fatal trucking accidents have legal and financial options available to them.