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Semi-Truck Accident Statistics for 2022

Semi-Truck Accident Statistics for 2022

Before 2020, U.S. traffic deaths, including semi-truck accidents, were on a decline. For three years, these numbers decreased. Unfortunately, recent crash data and semi-truck accident statistics show that these numbers are once again on the rise. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 2021 marked a 16-year high in traffic deaths. When we look at the rise specifically related to big trucks, the stats come in at a whopping 13% increase compared with 2020.

Although most would agree that it’s time for states to double down on traffic safety, just how bad is it? And what should be done? Read on to find out.

If you find yourself in a position where you’ve been involved in an accident yourself, the attorneys at Premier Truck Accident Lawyers have over 52 years of experience in handling personal injury cases. Speak with one of our knowledgeable truck accident attorneys today for your free case evaluation by calling 866-999-9085 or by filling out the form on our website.

Hard Facts About Traffic Fatalities

When you hear people talk about their fears and phobias related to death, it’s often planes, fires, or drowning that come up. But did you know that by 2030, careless driving is projected to become the fifth largest cause of death in the United States?

Here are some accident-related statistics that you need to know for 2022, when comparing 2020 with 2021: 

  • Fatalities in crashes involving at least one big truck are up 13% 
  • Fatalities in crashes involving multiple vehicles have risen by 16%
  • Fatalities occurring on city streets are up 16%
  • Fatalities involving motorcycles are up 9%

Other stats to take into consideration: 

  • Fatalities involving drivers over the age of 65 are up 14%
  • Fatalities involving pedestrians are up 13%
  • Fatalities involving bicycles are up 5%
  • Fatalities that are speed-related are up 5%
  • Fatalities involving alcohol are up 5%

Five Must Know Facts about Semi Truck Accidents

Trailing Texas with the greatest number of trucking accidents in the U.S., California sees over 130 fatal truck crashes and thousands of accidents that cause debilitating injuries. Although these numbers may seem low when compared to the number of people on the road, each loss of life is a devastating blow for the families who are left reeling from these tragedies. 

Passengers are the Most at Risk

Most deaths in crashes involving trucks are passenger vehicle occupants. This number is roughly 97 percent, as smaller vehicles lead to more vulnerability for those traveling inside. This is not to say that truckers are always at fault since stats show that passenger vehicle drivers cause a large percentage of truck-related accidents. 

It does mean that using extreme caution when driving is even more important for those who are traveling alongside commercial vehicles. 

Fatal Crashes Happen Every 15 Minutes

Big rig accidents might seem like a rare occurrence, but according to NHTSA data, they are very common. In fact, semi-truck involved crashes happen every 15 minutes. So, if you ever find yourself driving next to any sort of commercial truck, even a UPS or FedEx truck, keep in mind that accidents with these carriers are prevalent.

Most Crashes Happen on Weekdays

When leaving for vacation or driving out of town, many people fear that they will be involved in an accident. Ironically, most fatal truck accidents occur during the day, Monday through Friday when innocent victims are going about their daily routines. This is very common in work zones, where over ten percent of all accidents occur. Thirty-percent of all truck-related crashes occur here as well. 

Sleep Deprivation Causes Many Truck Accidents

Crashes are the leading cause of on-the-job death for truck drivers in the United States. This might not come as a surprise, especially when we consider the fact that drowsy driving is such a huge issue for those driving big rigs. 

Because the trucking industry is overwhelmed with orders and a shortage of drivers, truckers are often pushed to keep driving and meet deadlines, even when they are exhausted. This might seem harmless, but according to the CDC, staying awake for 18 hours is the same as having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.05 percent; and staying awake for 24 hours is equal to having a blood alcohol content of 0.10 percent.

No wonder over 100,000 traffic crashes are caused by sleep deprivation. Included in this number are 70,000 injuries and over 1,500 deaths, according to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Tire Defects are a Common Semi Truck-Related Cause

Several personal injury suits have been brought against tire manufacturing companies and trucking companies that failed to keep their trucks’ tires up to code. Why? Semi-truck accident statistics show that tire defects account for up to 30 percent of fatal trucking accidents.

Unsecured Cargo Causes Crashes

If you’ve seen the movie Final Destination 2, you probably keep a healthy distance from log trucks when you drive. This is a smart move since the American Automobile Association (AAA) found that dangerous debris was a factor in more than 200,000 crashes.

Sixty percent of these debris-related crashes involved tractor trailers with truck cargo that hadn’t been properly secured. The result? Over 500 hundred people lost their lives within a four-year period. 


According to truck safety advocacy groups, there are several things that can be done. One is speed limiters being required for all trucks. Rules put in place by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) that creates regulations that limit working hours for truckers should also be enforced. 

For example, truckers are only allowed to drive up to 11 hours per day and work up to 60 hours per week. Those that go over this number are putting people at risk. 

Suggested changes include automatic emergency braking systems and an increase in minimum insurance rate requirements.  

Continued partnership between the NHTSA and states is also an essential part of bringing down driving crashes. Holding those who break the law and cause accidents, injuries, and deaths is also a necessary part of the call for change. 

Have you or a loved one been involved in a trucking accident?

If so, you are not alone. Premier Truck Accident Lawyers has over 52 years of experience in handling personal injury cases. Reach out today to speak with an experienced attorney for your free case evaluation by calling toll-free 866-999-9085 or by filling out the form on our site.

The Peck Law Group

About the Author

For over 40 years Steven Peck's dedication to law has been unyielding. His approach to client representation and care is deeply respected by his colleagues and clients alike. Steven has extensive trial experience, with millions of dollars in damages recovered for clients in lawsuits throughout California.

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