Semi truck statistics

Driving down the highway the other day, I saw an overturned semi off on the side of the road. I whizzed past, on my way to my own places with my own affairs in mind, but after a moment, it got me thinking: how many semi accidents occur every year?

There seem to be an awful lot of them. Turn on the news on any given day, and you seem to hear about a collision involving one of those massive machines. And if not on the news, you see it with your own eyes. I don’t know how often I’ve been delayed in traffic or been rerouted due to some semi accident, but it seems to me, it’s a lot, and more common than before.

So I did a little research, and it turns out, accidents are fairly common. According to one source, there are more than 500,000 accidents in America every year. 5,000 of those are serious enough to be fatal to one party or the other. Although, 98% of the fatalities are the person in the other car, not the truck driver.

The same source says that 1 in 8 accidents total involves a massive 18-wheeler.

The thought of one of those trucks hitting me is, well, terrifying, as I’m sure it is for you.

A surprising fact that came to light was that the majority of accidents don’t happen in the middle of the night but during the day. I had assumed more happened when some bleary-eyed driver ran smack dab into some night fellow returning from the bar, but it’s more likely the truck driver, bleary-eyed or not, ran into the soccer mom coming back from dropping her kids off at practice. Poor soccer mom.

Or poor me, for that matter, since I don’t drive in the bleary late night hours either but right at the most dangerous times, with everyone else.

Day or night, I’ve learned a lot of truck drivers are imbibing something or other, whether alcohol or other illegal substances, which are inhibiting their ability to command their vehicles appropriately.

So, what can be done about this? Honestly, practically nothing. Goods have to be shipped, and in America, we ship them via our interstates, upon the beds of massive trucks driven by drivers, most of whom are surely excellent drivers and estimable individuals, but a few of whom may cause great damage due to recklessness.

Certainly, if you’re involved in an accident for a truck, there is sure to be a fine, clever lawyer nearby to take up your case and cause and make you a bundle. But that assumes you survive the encounter.

Otherwise, as a preventative measure, your choices are simply to go out in the world and pray and be vigilant and hope the driver of the massive truck in front of you is freshly rested and sober. Or else, stay at home forever. After reading some of those statistics, the choice is suddenly a harder one.

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