Unsurprisingly, a whole range of accidents and fatalities occur each year on our roads due to trucks and 18 wheelers. Unfortunately, the exact numbers of injuries and fatalities are not always known. First, however, we must define what a trucking accident means. An accident is classed as being a trucking accident if it involves a 10,000 lbs or more trailer and it collides with a pedestrian or other vehicle.
The statistics are pretty grim. Every year, some 500,000 trucking accidents are recorded. This means that 1 in eight accidents on the road involve trucks. In around 5000 cases, the accident results in death. This is worrying, because the trucking industry is growing. Around 68 percent of trucking fatalities happen outside of the city roads. Also, the daytime is the most dangerous, with 66 percent of fatal accidents happening then. Truckers seem especially dangerous during weekends, with 78 percent of fatal accidents happening then.
A particular problem is caused by the large number of intoxicated truck drivers. Take Oregon, where 1,159 truck accidents happened in 2004. Compared to the year before, this was an increase of 8.one percent. The frightening thing is that over half of these accidents (596) were caused by the truck driver. The worst day for truck accidents was 13 in one day. The worst company has 26 accidents to its name. Sticking still with the Oregon statistics, it must be noted that over 3 percent of the trucks carried hazardous materials. It is obvious that something needs to be done. Although the truck driving industry is growing, the number of fatalities has so far stayed the same. However, this doesn’t make it ok as all deaths should be avoided and it is possible that the number will start to grow later. The first thing to do is make sure that truckers and truck driving companies maintain their vehicles and make sure that the drivers are well trained. At the same time, other road users should learn about defensive driving. Ultimate responsibility lies with the truckers, however, who must maintain their distance and follow the rules. One of the most frightening things is that so many truckers drive while under the influence. However, this is in part due to the fact that they have too much responsibility, placed upon them by financial strain and by the trucking companies. In fact, some believe that the trucking industry is indeed growing, but that the same number of truckers still exist, who all simply have to work much harder to meet demand. This, naturally, is completely unsustainable. Clearly, these statistics need to be improved soon.