Semi-Truck Accident Statistics

With more than 15 million large trucks in the United States, you’re bound to see trucks every time you travel on the roads. Trucking is an integral part of the American transportation industry. However, trucking safety is a concern not only for truckers but also for pedestrians, bicyclists, and people in cars. Here are some semi-truck accident statistics from our experienced semi-truck accident lawyers.

Semi-Truck Accident Statistics

  • 4,014 people died in semi-truck accidents in 2020. 
  • The number of deaths in semi-truck accidents was 28 percent higher in 2020 than in 2009. 
  • The number of truck occupant deaths was 35 percent higher in 2020 compared to 2009. However, there were 110 fewer deaths in 2020 compared to 2019. 
  • Passenger vehicles are responsible for approximately 80 percent of truck accidents. 
  • There are more than 500,000 semi-truck accidents annually. 
  • There are, on average, 115,000 injury crashes each year involving semi-trucks. Yet, there were 119,000 injury crashes in 2019. 
  • Annually there are about 414,000 semi-truck accidents resulting in property damage.  
  • 54 percent of truck accidents occur in rural areas. 
  • 36 percent of truck accidents occur on interstates and freeways.
  • 47 percent of deaths from semi-truck accidents occurred on major roads other than interstates and freeways. 
  • Only 15 percent of fatal accidents occurred on minor roads. 
  • 64 percent of semi-truck accidents occur during the daytime.

Of fatal semi-truck accidents, 15 percent of victims are truck occupants. Additionally, 16 percent of the victims are pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists. 68 percent of semi-truck fatalities are people riding in passenger vehicles at the time of the crash.

overturned semi-truck after getting into an accident

Statistics were obtained from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and the U.S. Department of Transportation.

How Many Semi-Truck Drivers Are There in the U.S.?

According to the American Trucking Association, there are about 3.36 million truck drivers in the United States. An additional 7.65 million people work in the trucking industry. There are more trucks on the road than ever before, but the fatality rate per mile driven has declined in the past 10 years.

How Many Truck Accidents Happen Annually?

There are, on average, 115,000 injury crashes each year involving semi-trucks. Yet, there were 119,000 injury crashes in 2019. Annually there are about 414,000 semi-truck accidents resulting in property damage. In addition, 5,005 people died in accidents involving large trucks in 2019.

How Many Truckers Die Each Year?

Approximately 625 truckers die each year. Of the nearly 4,000 people who lose their lives each year in crashes involving trucks, 15 percent of victims are in the truck at the time of the accident. A trucker is most likely to die in an accident if the accident involves two or more trucks.

semi truck accident with mid-suv car

What Are the Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents?

There are several common causes of semi-truck accidents. Some of them include:

  • Increased stopping distance – It takes longer to stop in a truck than in a passenger vehicle. If a truck driver doesn’t leave enough space for the vehicles in front of them, they may cause a crash.
  • Poor maintenance – It’s critical to maintain a truck in proper working condition. Failing to do routine maintenance or pay attention to signs of trouble can cause a crash.
  • Inadequate rest – Truck drivers often work long hours. Sometimes, they get paid by the mile. When truck drivers work too long without rest, fatigue can set in. The result may be a tragic crash.
  • Road conditions – It’s up to all drivers, including truck drivers, to make adjustments for conditions on the road. When it’s snowy, rainy, or dark, a truck driver has to make adjustments. If they don’t account for the conditions on the road, a truck driver may cause an accident.
  • Speeding – When a truck driver travels above the speed limit, it makes it harder for them to react to hazards on the roads. Truck drivers should follow speed limits at all times. Speeding not only makes a crash more likely to occur, but it can make a collision more serious than it would have been if the truck driver had been traveling the speed limit.

Colorado Semi-Truck Accident Statistics

In the State of Colorado, there were 97 fatal accidents involving semi-trucks in 2019. Those crashes represent 11.1 percent of all fatal accidents in Colorado. By comparison, there were 268 fatal accidents involving passenger vehicles, 100 fatal accidents involving motorcycles, and 390 fatal accidents involving light trucks.

Semi-Truck Accident Lawsuit Statistics

Less than one percent of semi-truck accident lawsuits go to trial. Almost all semi-truck accident cases resolve through a negotiated agreement between the parties. Most often, you bring your lawsuit in the state court where the accident occurs. However, there are some cases where you file your case in a federal court or a different state court.

Rights for Semi-Truck Accident Victims in Colorado

Colorado has strong laws that protect the rights of semi-truck accident victims. When you’re the victim of a semi-truck accident, you have the right to seek financial compensation. Colorado law doesn’t differentiate between cases with minor injuries and cases with severe injuries; all truck accident victims can bring a claim for monetary compensation against the responsible party.

Semi-Truck Accident Statistics and Your Right to Recovery

What you can recover for your semi-truck accident depends on your individual case. Your claim may be like other claims in some ways; but ultimately, when you’re hurt in a semi-truck accident, the only case that matters is yours. 

The best way to learn about how the law applies to your case is to speak with an experienced attorney. A Denver truck accident lawyer can discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your case and help you make the right decisions to win the recovery that you deserve.

Denver Attorneys for Semi-Truck Accident Claims

Have you been in an accident involving a semi-truck? We want to help you fight for your rights. Your case is unique. Our Denver semi-truck accident lawyers can help you fight for your rights. Let our team learn about your case and help you understand your rights.

The Bachus & Schanker team is a full-service law firm dedicated exclusively to helping accident victims fight for fair treatment in the Colorado legal system. While Colorado law fully protects the rights of all truck accident victims to claim financial compensation, you must take action to assert your claim.

lawyers helping with a semi truck accident

We are prepared to take all of the steps on your behalf that you need to win the monetary compensation that you deserve. Don’t wait any longer. Call today for a free and confidential consultation with our friendly team. We look forward to speaking with you.


IIHS. Fatality Facts 2020: Large Trucks. Retrieved 21 June 2022. 
NHTSA. FARS Encyclopedia: Vehicles Involved in Fatal Crashes in 2019. Retrieved 21 June 2022.
FMCSA. Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts 2019. Retrieved 21 June 2022.

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