Anecdotally, it is easy to understand how after a serious accident involving a large truck, the occupants of a passenger vehicle get the worst of the accident’s aftermath. The sheer difference in size between a car and a truck make it much more likely, just a matter of physics, that the car will be crushed or seriously damaged and the occupants hurt or killed.
Statistics compiled by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Administration and other sources back up this assumption. Of the almost 4,000 people who died in truck accidents in 2016, the last year statistics were available, about two-thirds of them were traveling in automobiles. An additional 16 percent of victims were traveling by motorcycle or bicycle or were pedestrians.
The data suggested that one of the big factors in these fatal accidents was the inability of trucks to brake in a timely fashion. It naturally takes trucks longer to stop than it does cars, and when a truck is overloaded, is traveling on a slick or wet road or is trying stop with brakes that are out of repair, then end result can be tragic.
Fatigued driving was also a significant cause of fatal accidents. Despite rules prohibiting this, many truckers travel over 11 hours in one stretch, meaning that they are often sleep deprived while maneuvering their large truck down a major highway. As this blog has mentioned, a fatigued truck driver can engage in risky behavior that is similar to that of a person driving drunk.