Each truck accident has its own set of particular facts and individuals involved. In that sense, each accident is unique. But when federal safety regulators delve into the data on big rig accidents, they see patterns. These patterns show that certain types of accidents keep recurring, time after time.
Being aware of those patterns is important because only by identifying them can proper responses be developed to improve truck safety and reduce trucking accidents. In Texas and across the nation, those accidents claim far too many lives and seriously injure far too many people every year.
The key federal agency for regulating truck safety is the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). As part of its regulatory role, NHTSA has compiled data on the most common types of truck accidents.
Rear-end collisions, for example, are involved in 28 percent of truck accidents. Accidents in which a vehicle is run off the road are also very common. They account for 23 percent of all accidents. Accidents involving lane-change maneuvers account for another 9 percent.
In order to do a better job at preventing these accidents, NHTSA points to the need for improved technology to help vehicles avoid collision. According to NHTSA, the installation of electronic stability control systems could significantly cut down on the number of truck crashes. The agency estimates that more than 4,600 accidents each year could be avoided with such technology.
It is also important to realize just how massive the U.S. trucking system is. According to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation, trucks moved almost $12.5 billion tons of freight in 2010. The dollar value of the freight was about $10.5 million.
Source: “10 Things to Know About the Trucking Industry,” Insurance Journal, 5-13-13