Millions of people take to the roads in cars and trucks daily. But when it comes to safety, which is more dangerous? The answer may surprise you. Let's look at the accident rates of cars and trucks compared to their fatality rates and their prevalence on the road to explain why drivers should be extra vigilant when driving around trucks.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported over 6 million car accidents in the United States in 2018 alone. Of those 6 million, 3,500 resulted in fatalities. That’s an average of nine deaths per 100 million vehicles traveled (VMT). In comparison, significant truck accidents accounted for only 0.8% of all traffic fatalities – 4,369 deaths – but they had a much higher fatality rate than cars, with 28 deaths per 100 million VMTs.
Prevalence on Roadways
In terms of prevalence on roadways, cars dominate the majority of traffic at 86%, followed by light-weight vans/SUVs at 8%, heavy trucks at 5%, and other vehicles like motorcycles and bicycles making up the remaining 1%. However, even though fewer trucks are on the roads compared to cars, they are still much more likely to be involved in fatal accidents due to their size and weight. Large commercial trucks can weigh up to 80,000 lbs. while passenger vehicles typically weigh between 3,000 and 4,000 lbs. A collision between a large truck and a car can have devastating consequences for those inside the smaller vehicle.
Given this information, drivers must remain aware of their surroundings when sharing the road with large commercial trucks – especially knowing that they are much harder to maneuver than smaller vehicles due to their size and weight. Drivers should give large trucks plenty of room to stop or turn safely by following far enough behind them so that they have ample space if they need it. Additionally, drivers should remember that visibility reduces when driving close behind a large truck because its driver cannot see directly behind them due to blind spots. Taking these precautions will help ensure safe travel for everyone on the roadway.
Trucks pose an increased risk for drivers compared to cars because they are larger and heavier than typical passenger vehicles—meaning that any collision with one could result in severe injury or death for those inside the smaller vehicle involved in the accident. Drivers must remain aware when sharing the road with large commercial vehicles and give them plenty of room to maneuver safely if necessary; this will help reduce the risks posed by these massive machines traveling our roads daily. With these safety measures in mind, everyone can drive confidently, knowing they’re doing their part to keep our streets safe!
If you or a loved one was involved in a crash involving a truck, Manning Law, APC is here to assist you. Contact us today at (800) 783-5006 to schedule your free consultation and discuss your case.