Truck Accident Statistics: How Common are Truck Accidents?
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Truck Accident Statistics: How Common are Truck Accidents?

2nd November 2023

Truck Accident Statistics How Common are Truck Accidents - Sand Law PLLC - North Dakota Personal Injury Attorney

  • Truck accident statistics have recently decreased, but these horrible accidents still occur too often.
  • There are several reasons why truck accidents occur, including fatigued drivers, drivers under the influence, and many others.
  • Trucking companies also contribute to accidents through many different forms of negligence.
  • The injuries resulting from a truck accident can be debilitating, robbing a victim of their quality of life.
  • Victims and their families must hire an attorney to have the best chance of obtaining the compensation they deserve.

Truck accident statistics may not be as horrible as in recent years, but they’re still terrible. Hundreds of people lose their lives in these wrecks every year, and thousands suffer injuries so severe they can no longer pursue the activities they love. In some instances, they need 24-hour care.

Sand Law attorneys have years of experience and a long track record of success helping truck accident victims. We’re ready to do the same for you. If you’ve suffered an injury or lost a loved one in an accident caused by another’s negligence, we’ll fight to help you obtain maximum compensation.

You can use our online form to schedule a free case review, or you can call 701-609-1510.

How common are truck accidents in the U.S.?

Thankfully, the number of truck accidents decreased from 2021 to 2022, from 171,395 to 168,117. Fatalities (5,778 in 2021, 5,360 in 2022) and injuries (80,848/76,075) also decreased. As of the most recent date statistics were available, 63,573 crashes had occurred in 2023. These crashes resulted in 1,815 deaths and 28,614 injuries.

How common are truck accidents in North Dakota?

North Dakota has also seen a significant decrease in truck accidents, as well as fatalities and injuries. Here are the most recent truck accident statistics available:

Year Crashes Fatalities Injuries

2017   1,110 21 326

2018   1,176 26 318

2019   1,139 15 341

2020   772 15 205

2021   734 11 273

It’s encouraging to note that the number of accidents decreased from 2020 to 2021, even though the pandemic significantly reduced the number of trucks on the road in 2020.

How often are truck accidents fatal?

According to the National Safety Council, truck accident fatalities comprise a tiny percentage of vehicle-related deaths. In 2021, large trucks accounted for 9% of all fatal accidents involving vehicles. The NSC defines a large truck as any vehicle weighing more than 10,000 pounds.

What are the causes of truck accidents?

Unlike car accidents, many different parties could be liable for a truck accident. Because of the multiple involved parties, there are many different causes for truck accidents. They can be caused by the driver, trucking company, loaders, manufacturer, truck renter, and more.

Truck Driver

The truck driver can be liable for a motor vehicle crash if their negligence leads to the accident. This could involve:

Drunk Driving

When truck drivers operate their vehicles while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, their judgment and reaction times can become impaired. Impairment increases the likelihood of making errors, misjudging distances, and causing accidents.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving occurs when a truck driver diverts their attention from the road. Examples include using their phone, eating, adjusting the radio, or engaging in other activities while driving. These distractions reduce their ability to respond quickly to changing traffic conditions, increasing the risk of accidents.

Aggressive Driving

Aggressive driving behaviors, such as tailgating, weaving between lanes, and excessive speeding, can escalate situations on the road. Truck drivers who engage in aggressive driving may trigger confrontations with other drivers, leading to dangerous situations and, potentially, accidents.

Driving While Fatigued

Truck drivers often work long hours and may experience fatigue. Fatigue impairs their concentration and reaction time, making it challenging to stay alert while driving. Falling asleep at the wheel or experiencing lapses in attention can result in accidents, especially on long-haul routes.


Excessive speed can significantly contribute to accidents. When truck drivers exceed the speed limit or drive too fast for road conditions, they have less time to react to unexpected situations. Stopping distances increase, making it more challenging to avoid collisions or rear-ending other vehicles.

Trucking Company

The trucking company may be liable for the large truck accident if their behavior can be proved to be negligent by the court. The trucking company may be negligent for actions such as:

Over-Scheduling Employees Past the Legal Limits

When trucking companies demand that their drivers work excessively long hours in violation of governmental regulations, that can lead to driver fatigue. Fatigued drivers are more prone to making errors and experiencing decreased alertness, increasing the risk of accidents due to impaired judgment and slower reaction times.

They play a significant role in contributing to the truck accident statistics mentioned above.

Not Providing Proper Training to Employees

Inadequate training for truck drivers can result in a lack of essential skills and knowledge to operate a large commercial vehicle safely. Without proper training, drivers may struggle with understanding complex regulations, handling the vehicle effectively, and responding to various on-road situations, ultimately contributing to accidents.

Not Drug Testing

Failing to conduct drug testing as part of the hiring process or routine checks can result in the employment of drivers who may be under the influence of illegal substances. This can impair their ability to drive safely and lead to accidents due to impaired coordination and decision-making.

Lack of Maintenance

When trucking companies neglect regular maintenance of their fleet, it can result in trucks being in suboptimal or unsafe condition. Poorly maintained vehicles are more likely to experience mechanical failures while on the road, such as brake issues or tire blowouts. These failures can lead to accidents and put the safety of the driver and other road users at risk.

Loading Team

The proper loading of a large truck is vital to ensuring that the goods and driver stay safe. If a truck is improperly loaded, it could cause items to shift around during the drive, potentially causing rollover or other accident types. About 6.7% of truck accidents occur because of overturning or rollover.


In the case that a motor vehicle crash occurs because of a defective part or manufacturer error, the manufacturer of the truck or the specific part may be liable for the accident. If the part was recalled or the manufacturer made the trucking company otherwise aware of the defect, the trucking company could be liable for failing to fix the issue.

Truck Renters

In some cases, trucking companies rent their large trucks from a third party. The third party is usually responsible for any maintenance and ensuring that the large truck is properly working. If an accident occurred because of improper maintenance and the truck was a rental, the rental company could be liable.

What types of injuries occur in truck crashes?

Because trucks are larger and heavier, the injuries they cause can be much more severe than those that would come out of a smaller passenger car-only accident. Truck accident injuries include traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, internal injuries, broken and fractured bones, soft tissue injuries, and more.

Truck accident statistics don’t tell the whole story regarding the horrible injuries that can result. These injuries include the following: 

Traumatic Brain Injury

In a truck accident, when a person’s head experiences a sudden and forceful impact, it can cause a traumatic brain injury. This injury occurs as the impact jolts the brain inside the skull. The result can be a range of symptoms, from mild concussions to severe damage. These injuries can affect memory, thinking, and even physical abilities, leading to long-term complications.

Spinal Cord Injury

A truck collision can exert immense pressure or trauma on the spinal cord, resulting in a spinal cord injury. Such injuries can lead to partial or complete loss of sensation and motor function below the injury site. This can lead to paralysis or other neurological complications, significantly impacting a person’s quality of life.

Internal Injuries

The body can be subjected to significant forces in a trucking accident, causing internal injuries that may not be immediately visible. These injuries can include damage to organs like the liver, spleen, or kidneys. Internal bleeding, organ rupture, or other complications can arise, sometimes leading to life-threatening situations if not promptly diagnosed and treated.

Broken and Fractured Bones

The tremendous impact of a truck accident can also cause bones to break or fracture. Broken bones can be extremely painful, often requiring surgical intervention, immobilization, and rehabilitation to heal properly.

Soft Tissue Injuries

Soft tissue injuries damage muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other non-bone structures. During a truck accident, the rapid acceleration and deceleration of the body can stretch or tear these soft tissues. This can result in painful conditions like whiplash, strains, sprains, or contusions, leading to discomfort, reduced mobility, and prolonged recovery.

With truck accidents, victims may experience multiple injuries at the same time. It’s not uncommon to have, for example, a traumatic brain injury as well as multiple broken bones, especially after a severe accident.

Motor vehicle crash injuries can cause lifelong problems for victims, changing their quality of life greatly. Many require lifelong treatment, including surgeries and physical therapy. Many also experience emotional distress or PTSD from the accident.

What damages can I be compensated for after a truck accident?

After your accident, it’s normal to be stressed out about the losses you’ve incurred. You may be drowning in medical debt or scrambling to pay your everyday bills because of the wages you’ve lost.

Like the ones here at Sand Law in North Dakota, an experienced attorney can help you get the compensation that you deserve for your damages. You can claim damages in three categories, economic, non-economic, and punitive.

Economic damages cover medical bills, lost wages, and other monetary losses you may have experienced because of the accident. Non-economic damages cover pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and loss of earning capacity. Non-economic damages are calculated by looking at how much your life quality has changed because of the accident.

Punitive damages are rare but may be awarded to punish the defendant for their actions further. They’re also used to deter the liable party from committing the same act again in the future.

When should I hire a truck accident attorney?

You should hire a truck accident attorney before you speak with any insurance companies. This usually falls around the time you’re receiving medical treatment for your injuries. If you speak to an insurance company without an attorney, they will try and trick you into signing away your ability to file a lawsuit, or they may ask you for a statement in exchange for quick cash.

Avoid getting tricked by insurance companies and hire Sand Law today. We won’t take any fees until we win your case. For more information or a free case evaluation, please contact us online or by phone at 701-609-1510.