They are the biggest vehicles on the interstate highways bisecting the Raleigh metro area: 18-wheelers. The large commercial trucks weigh tens of thousands of pounds more than passenger vehicles, making them much more difficult to maneuver and to bring to a stop in critical moments.
The size and weight of big rigs puts drivers and passengers in cars, SUVs and pick-ups at high risk of severe injuries or death in crashes with tractor-trailers.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) says there were 3,864 fatal tractor-trailer crashes in 2016 and another 104,000 wrecks that included injuries. About 62 percent of those fatal large truck crashes involved two vehicles, while 22 percent were single-vehicle crashes. However, that latter figure does include fatal big rig accidents involving bicyclists, pedestrians and nonmotorized vehicles.
The FMCSA also says:
- 61 percent of all fatal large-truck crashes were in rural areas
- 27 percent of deadly big rig wrecks were on interstate highways
- 15 percent of fatal tractor trailer wrecks were both in a rural area and on an interstate highway
- 37 percent of fatal truck accidents were at night (6 p.m. to 6 a.m.)
- 84 percent of all fatal big rig crashes were on weekdays
- 27 percent of fatal work zone crashes involved at least one large truck
- 8 percent of all work zone injury wrecks involved at least one large truck
While statistics can be fascinating, people who have been injured in a motor vehicle crash with a commercial vehicle tend to be focused on questions about who will pay their medical bills and how they will be compensated for their pain and injuries. Those questions are best directed to a Raleigh attorney experienced and skilled in personal injury litigation.