Georgia’s interstates and highways play a critical role in the trucking industry in the southeastern United States, so it is no surprise that thousands of trucks crisscross the state every day. Whether you are traveling on I-20, I-75 or I-85, it is practically impossible to drive any length of time on Georgia highways without encountering several large semi-trucks.
Truck drivers operate on tight schedules, and some unfortunately take risks to meet their deadlines. Such risky or negligent driving behavior leads to a number of crashes on Georgia highways each year, injuring thousands and killing more than 150 people in 2014.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) compiles reports on semi-truck accident statistics, and these reports offer a wealth of information about truck accidents in Georgia and across the nation.
What do Georgia truck accident statistics tell us?
Because there are so many trucks on Georgia roads, there are a number of major accidents that involve trucks in the state each year.
In 2014, 155 people died in Georgia truck crashes and thousands more suffered injuries. There were 135 large trucks involved in these fatal crashes, making up 8.3 percent of all vehicles involved in fatal accidents in the state.
Among those killed in truck accidents, 28 were occupants of a large truck.
- 19 truckers died in single-vehicle accidents
- 9 truckers died in multi-vehicle accidents
And 112 victims of fatal truck accidents were not occupants of a large truck.
- 112 people were occupants of another vehicle
- 15 people were not occupants of any vehicle (pedestrians, bicyclists, etc.)
What are the trends in trucking accidents nationwide?
Nationwide, 3,903 people died in truck accidents during 2014. An additional 111,000 suffered injuries in accidents involving large trucks. In total, there were about 438,000 large trucks involved in police-reported accidents in 2014.
Overall, though, the number of fatalities stemming from truck accidents is trending downward. The number of truck accident fatalities fell two percent from 2013 to 2014. Over the last decade, the number of people killed in these accidents fell 26 percent, from 5,240 deaths in 2005 to 3,903 in 2014.
Still, thousands of people die each year in accidents with large commercial vehicles. According to the 2014 statistics, the great majority of these deaths occur in occupants of passenger vehicles. Nationwide:
- 17 percent of fatalities were occupants of the truck
- 73 percent were occupants of other vehicles
- 10 percent were pedestrians, cyclists or other non-occupants
The number of injuries in truck crashes nationwide increased 17 percent between 2013 and 2014, but there is a two percent decrease overall in the number of injuries suffered in trucking accidents over the last decade.
What causes trucking accidents?
Truck drivers and trucking companies must follow Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations designed to keep the roads safe and prevent truck accidents. While the statistics show these regulations are effective, some truck companies and drivers try to bend the rules or outright break them.
Some truckers skip required rest periods, drive longer hours than allowed, and drive while tired. Trucking companies may fail to do required maintenance or necessary repairs. Companies may also fail to ensure their drivers have the proper training and qualifications, and inexperience leads to poor decisions on the highway.
All of these violate FMCSA regulations, making the trucking company liable for its own negligence or that of its driver if you suffer injuries in an accident. If your claim is successful, you may collect compensation for damages including medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
What should I do if I suffer injuries in an accident caused by a truck driver?
If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one, an Atlanta truck accident attorney at the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC can get you the compensation you deserve. We fight for our clients, taking on truckers and trucking companies who violate laws and regulations. Call us today at 404-474-0804 to learn more.