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Truck Accident Injuries Up 18%: NHTSA Report

By Brett Snider, Esq. | Last updated on

Truck accident injuries are more common than you might think, with 104,000 people injured in truck crashes in 2012, according to the latest report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

That's an 18 percent increase in the number of injuries compared to 2011, when 88,000 people were hurt in truck crashes, according to NHTSA. Truck accident fatalities also increased by 4 percent, from 3,781 in 2011 to 3,921 in 2012, the latest year for which data were available.

So who fares worse in truck accidents: truck drivers or occupants of other vehicles?

Truck Accident Injury, Fatality Rates

When cars and trucks collide, the chances for a serious injury or fatality increase significantly. And while this often can mean bad news for the truck's driver, it more likely means injury or death for car drivers and passengers.

Of the 104,000 truck-crash injuries in 2012:

  • 76,000, or 73 percent of those hurt, were occupants of other vehicles;
  • 25,000, or 24 percent, were occupants of large trucks; and
  • 3,000, or 3 percent, were non-occupants of vehicles -- meaning bystanders, pedestrians, and cyclists.

NHTSA also found that of the 3,971 fatal truck crashes in 2012:

  • 2,843, or 73 percent of those killed, were occupants of other vehicles;
  • 697, or 18 percent, were occupants of large trucks; and
  • 381, or 10 percent, were non-occupants of vehicles.

These figures show that when it comes to truck crashes, drivers and passengers of other vehicles are nearly three times more likely to be injured than truck drivers and truck occupants.

Those in other vehicles are also four times more likely to be killed in a truck crash, as compared to occupants of large trucks.

Other Notable Findings

In addition, the NHTSA report also found that:

  • In fatal two-vehicle collisions, trucks were rear-ended more than three times as often as a non-truck vehicle. Most states have made it illegal to follow any vehicle too closely -- and it seems that when rear-ending a truck, the consequences are often deadly.
  • While the number of truck-occupant injuries increased 8.7 percent between 2011 and 2012, the number of injuries to occupants of other vehicles and nonoccupants (bystanders, pedestrians, and cyclists) together jumped nearly 20 percent. This may seem inconsequential to some, but non-truck drivers can avoid most of the common causes of truck accidents by changing their on-the-road habits.

For those involved in a truck accident, statistically you're not alone. As there are many ways to sue for truck accident injuries, your best bet is to call an experienced truck accident attorney today to discuss your legal options.

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