The trucking industry is vital in the state of Colorado and throughout the United States. Massive tractor-trailers are responsible for transporting billions of tons of cargo throughout the country every day. In Colorado alone, the trucking industry provides more than 110,000 jobs, or about one of every ten jobs in the state. In 2017, the Colorado trucking industry paid more than $5.7 billion in wages to Colorado residents. More than 13,000 trucking companies are operating out of Colorado.
Despite the massive contributions the trucking industry makes to the Colorado economy, large commercial trucks are involved in some of the most devastating crashes the state sees year after year. It’s a good idea to know some critical statistics concerning trucking accidents in the state of Colorado and the legal implications they may have.
Colorado Truck Accident Statistics
The Colorado Motor Carriers Association exists to uphold industry standards for trucking companies and truck drivers operating out of Colorado, and the CMCA also gathers accident data to improve the safety of Colorado’s roads. Accident data provides essential insights into the trucking industry and offers the opportunity to develop safer public policies and company procedures.
- Roughly 500,000 truck-related accidents happen each year in the United States. It’s vital to remember that trucks drive longer distances and more frequently than most of the passenger vehicles in use in the United States. The sheer number of large commercial trucks on the road inherently increases the chances of accidents due to the size, weight, and potentially destructive force of these vehicles.
- In 2017 alone, nearly 5,000 large trucks were involved in fatal crashes. These accidents occurred for many reasons, but some of the most common include driving under the influence (DUI), aggressive driving, speeding, and poor visibility.
- The number of fatal accidents involving buses and trucks increased by 42% between 2009 and 2017. Commerce has evolved dramatically over the last several years, and Americans are more reliant on shipping services than ever. As demand for commercial trucking has increased, so has the fatal truck accident rate across the country.
- From 2009 to 2015, accidents resulting in injuries jumped more than 60%. Trucks can weigh exponentially more than the average passenger car. When a truck is involved in an accident, it is likely to affect more than one other vehicle.
- Nearly 70% of all fatal accidents involving large commercial trucks occur in rural locations, typically on interstate roads and highways. Unfortunately, wide-open spaces and long stretches of narrow roads encourage dangerous behaviors in some drivers. Speeding is more common on rural highways, and large trucks require more time and distance to slow down and stop than most other passenger vehicles.
- Based on 2017 data, truck-related accidents comprise about 11% of all roadside fatalities in the country, even though commercial trucks only account for roughly 5% of all highway traffic in America.
- Of the 4,136 people who died in fatal truck accidents in 2018 alone, only 16% of the victims were the truck drivers. About 67% of fatal truck accident victims are drivers and passengers of smaller vehicles involved in truck crashes.
These statistics should indicate to all drivers that large commercial trucks inherently pose a greater threat than most other vehicles on the road, and some of the causes of truck accidents are entirely unpredictable. All drivers should use caution when driving near commercial trucks in Colorado.
Who Is Responsible for a Trucking Accident?
Determining liability is an essential step in any injury claim. Truck accidents are not only more damaging than most other vehicle accidents but also pose additional challenges when it comes to proving liability. Depending on how a truck accident occurred, liability can rest on multiple parties, such as a negligent truck driver, the trucking company that employed them, or other parties. An experienced Colorado truck accident attorney is your best resource when you need to know your legal options after a truck accident in Colorado.
The trucking accident statistics above have encouraged lawmakers across the country to develop new policies and regulations aimed at improving road safety for all drivers, and some of these regulations pertain exclusively to the trucking industry. If a driver or trucking company violated state or federal trucking regulations and caused an accident, victims should know their rights and how an attorney can help them recover their losses.
A truck accident lawsuit could yield compensation for vehicle damage, medical expenses, lost income, and other losses resulting from a serious truck accident. If you need legal counsel following a truck accident in Colorado, contact the Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Colorado truck accident lawyer.