How Common Are Semi Truck Accidents?

Semi truck accidents are unfortunately a common occurrence on America’s roads. The sheer size and weight of a semi truck creates an inherently dangerous situation on the roads, leaving other motorists vulnerable to injury or even death in the event of an accident. There is no denying that sharing the roads with semi trucks can be a nerve-wracking experience and that many motorists actively try to avoid them.

According to data gathered by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there were approximately 4,862 fatal large truck crashes in 2017. This is a slight increase from 2016, when 4,845 fatal large truck crashes occurred.

These numbers are concerning for many people who use the roads on a regular basis. However, when compared to car crashes involving fatalities (37,133 in 2017) it is clear that semi truck accidents account for only a small fraction of overall fatalities on American roads.

In addition to fatalities caused by semi truck accidents, there are also numerous non-fatal accidents each year. According to estimates from the FMCSA, there were nearly 145,000 non-fatal large truck crashes in 2017 alone. Of these accidents, around 77% involved at least one other vehicle and resulted in property damage or injuries.

What Causes Semi Truck Accidents?

The causes of semi truck accidents vary greatly and can include anything from driver error or fatigue to poor weather conditions or mechanical failure. However, driver error is generally considered to be one of the most significant contributing factors in these types of accidents.

Driver fatigue is particularly dangerous because it can impair judgement and reaction times significantly. This means that drivers may not be able to react quickly enough if something unexpected happens on the road. Additionally, drivers may be more likely to make mistakes due to their fatigued state.


Semi truck accidents are unfortunately common occurrences on American roads. Although they account for only a small fraction of overall fatalities related to car accidents annually, they still pose a significant risk for other motorists who share the road with them due to their large size and weight. Driver error is often considered one of the most significant contributing factors to these types of accidents but other factors such as weather conditions and mechanical failures can also play a role.

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James Gardner