Commercial trucks deliver most of the food and other consumer products that we buy in Connecticut. Although they are necessary for the economy, large trucks pose a serious risk on the highways due to their sheer size and weight.
Here are three facts about fatal truck accidents from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety:
Fatal truck accidents are on the rise
IIHS data showed that 4,714 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents involving large trucks in 2021. Compared to 2020, that was a 17% increase. After fatal truck accidents declined to a historic low in 2009, the numbers have been steadily rising ever since. Truck accident fatalities in 2021 represent a 50% increase since 2009.
Truckers usually don’t die in truck crashes
The vast majority of deaths in commercial truck crashes are the occupants of passenger vehicles, according to the IIHS. In 2021, 68% of truck accident fatalities were people traveling in passenger cars. When you look at the data from only the truck accidents that involved at least two vehicles, the occupants of passenger cars account for 97% of fatalities.
Bigger trucks are the most dangerous
There are many different types of trucks, and IIHS data clearly shows us what type of trucks are the most dangerous. In 2021, nearly three-quarters of all big rig deaths involved a tractor-trailer rather than a single-unit truck.
Stay aware to stay safe
Being aware of the real dangers posed by large trucks is the first step to staying safer on the highways. For example, while you are driving near a tractor-trailer, know that this is probably the worst time to play with your infotainment system or make a phone call. It’s also crucial to stay out of trucks’ blind spots and remember that they have longer stopping distances.