At The Doan Law Firm, we have successfully represented dozens of clients who lost a family member to an accident involving a commercial truck. We are thus all-too-well aware of the terrible emotional and financial impact that these accidents can have on a family. At the same time, we have come to recognize that relatively up-to-date information on commercial trucking accidents is difficult to obtain.
In response to this lack of information, our commercial truck accident lawyers have directed our staff to create an in-house database that we intend to use as a monitor of local, regional, and national news media for reports of accidents involving commercial trucks ("semi," "big rig," "18-wheeler" etc.) that we intend to use in identifying patterns of trucking accidents.
On this page, we will present our preliminary results.
Summary of the Accidents
Our summary is structured in the following manner:
- what happened
- when did it happen
- where it happened
- who it happened to
- why it happened
For the month of January, we were able to locate news media reports of 132 separate accidents in which a semi-truck was at least marginally involved. These accidents were responsible for 154 reported deaths. The 10 states with the highest number of accidents and fatalities were:
- TX (10 accidents / 10 deaths)
- CA (9 accidents / 9 deaths)
- FL (7 accidents / 13 deaths)
- OK (7 accidents / 7 deaths)
- OH (6 accidents / 7 deaths)
- AZ (6 accidents / 7 deaths)
- MI (6 accidents / 6 deaths)
- IN (4 accidents / 4 deaths)
- MO (4 accidents / 4 deaths)
- NM (3 accidents / 4 deaths)
Perhaps the most surprising finding from our database was that, despite the brutal winter weather conditions that afflicted parts of the country during January, we were unable to detect a "spike" in the number of accidents that occurred during winter storm conditions when compared to the number of accidents that occurred during more "seasonal" conditions. We will be interested to see if this observation holds true as more data becomes available.
In the list presented above, note that four states that are usually considered "sunbelt" states (Texas, California, Florida, and Arizona) accounted for 24% (32 / 132) of all accidents and 25% (39 / 154) of all fatalities.
The deadliest accident (7 fatalities) occurred near Gainesville (FL) on the afternoon of January 3rd when a semi-truck driver lost control of his vehicle, crossed the highway median, and struck a private passenger van before colliding with another semi. Five passengers in the van, as well as both semi drivers, died at the scene.
Our other observations revealed that:
There were 12 accidents that led to 16 deaths of the semi driver and/or co-driver.
13 deaths occurred when a pedestrian was struck by a semi, with 2 of those deaths occurring when a roadside work-crew member was struck by a semi.
12 accidents occurred when a vehicle struck the trailer of a parked or moving semi from the rear. These 12 "underride" accidents were responsible for 14 deaths. In contrast, we noted 3 accidents where a semi rear-ended another vehicle and 3 deaths in those accidents.
3 deaths involved a semi and a "two-wheeler" (bicycle or motorcycle).
We invite those with a professional, or personal, interest is the statistics of commercial trucking accidents to revisit our website often since we plan to provide regular updates on the topic of truck accidents.
Contacting a truck accident lawyer
If you were injured in an accident involving a commercial truck, we invite you to contact the commercial truck accident injury lawyers at The Doan Law Firm, a nationwide personal injury law practice with offices located in major cities across the country.
When you contact our firm, your initial consultation and case review is always free and does not require that you hire us to act as your legal counsel. If you should later decide to file a lawsuit against those you hold responsible for your injuries and that you would like for us to represent you in court, we are willing to assume full responsibility for all aspects of preparing your case for trial in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of the final settlement that we will win for you.