If you’re a resident of the state of Missouri, you’re likely no stranger to sharing the road with semi-trucks and tractor-trailers. Missouri’s proximity to the center of the United States makes it a frequented pass-through for these massive vehicles traveling across the country to pick up and deliver a variety of goods. This has its benefits for our economy and workforce, but it also has a glaring downside: an increased number of accidents with these trucks.

Crashes with a semi-truck can be devastating for the other vehicles involved. The sheer size and weight of a semi-truck make it a veritable battering ram for anything in its way, causing much more damage than might have occurred if the accident were with a “regular” vehicle instead. This is why it’s so important to proceed with caution around semi-trucks and try to diminish your chances of getting into an accident with one. To understand just how important that is, it helps to be aware of the statistics behind the number and severity of semi-truck accidents that occur each year.

Commercial Truck Accident Injury Statistics

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, there were 15,005 total trucking accidents in 2022. The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) has shared that the total number of crashes involving a semi-truck or tractor-trailer that occur in Missouri each year has remained fairly consistent over the past twenty years. The upside, however, is that even though that number has remained the same, the number of reported injuries caused by these accidents has declined overall in the last twenty years. In 2002, there were a reported 3,529 injuries sustained, whereas in 2022, there were 2,756 injuries reported—nearly 800 fewer injuries.

Between 2002 and 2006, the average number of injuries suffered in car accidents involving commercial delivery trucks was around 3,300. But between 2018 and 2022, the number was around 2,700—a decrease of 600 injuries. Though these are still large numbers, the decrease is most likely due to passenger vehicles becoming safer as technology advances, enabling them to withstand crashes better and prevent more or more severe injuries from occurring as frequently.

Semi-Truck Crash Fatality Statistics

To match injury statistics, MoDOT reports that the number of trucking accident fatalities suffered has decreased in the state of Missouri as well during the last twenty years. In 2002, there were over 180 deaths directly caused by car accidents involving commercial delivery trucks, whereas in 2022, there were 119 reported fatalities caused by semi-truck accidents. The year before that in 2021, there were 130 trucking accident fatalities—a decrease of 8.46%.

There are several different types of semi-trucks and tractor-trailers that exist, but due to their overall size and the speeds at which they frequently travel, the highest number of truck accident fatalities on average involve semi-trucks that are hauling one unit (as opposed to two, three, or none). In 2022, there were 65 truck accident deaths involving a semi-truck with one unit.

Commercial Truck Accident Cause Statistics

A number of factors can contribute to a car crash involving a semi-truck or tractor-trailer, from improper driving to faulty equipment to inclement weather. This is why there are so many legal requirements regarding receiving a license to drive a semi-truck, how they must be driven, and how trucks and their cargo must be maintained and handled.

However, the Missouri State Highway Patrol has determined that the most common causes of commercial truck accidents in Missouri tend to be related directly to how the semi-truck driver maneuvers their truck. In 2022, improper lane usage (usually meaning improper or unsafe lane changing) alone caused roughly 1,500 crashes and 200 deaths. Speeding, distracted driving, and tailgating resulted in roughly 1,000 accidents each while failing to yield properly and making improper turns resulted in roughly 750 accidents each. Speeding and failing to yield properly each resulted in about 200 deaths as well.

The highest number of truck accidents occur between 3 PM and 4 PM, with a total of 1,229 happening within this short window in 2022. This may be the result of the beginning of the “rush hour” window when there are more drivers on the road, resulting in more accidents to naturally occur. Interestingly, the highest number of deaths resulting from a trucking accident in Missouri was reported to happen between 8 AM and 9 AM. Again, this could be due to the morning rush hour consisting of more commuters on the road, though it may also have to do with long-distance truck drivers who have driven their routes throughout the night, reaching a point of fatigue by the time morning arrives.

Missouri County Commercial Truck Accident Statistics and Economic Impact

St. Louis County and Jackson County, Missouri, are two of the most populated counties in the state of Missouri, and as such, they rank first and second, respectively, when it comes to the number of semi-truck crashes experienced. In 2022, St. Louis County reported 2,462 truck accidents, while Jackson County reported 1,729. St. Louis City County, however, was not far behind in third position, with a reported 1,345 semi-truck accidents reported in 2022. It’s to be expected that the higher the population of an area, the more likely motor vehicle accidents are to occur, whether involving a semi-truck or not.

Any type of car accident can have a drastic impact on the parties involved, as severe injuries can lead to high medical costs, property damage, and lost wages, which all add up rapidly. But when it comes specifically to accidents involving semi-trucks, the ripples can move much further to impact both victims and those not directly involved with the accident. Aside from the potential damage and injuries that can result from an accident with a semi-truck being much more traumatic, these often large-scale accidents can cause massive traffic delays, resulting in lost productivity and increased transportation costs. If a truck loses its cargo, that may also be a large loss for the business involved in the transaction.

Though these statistics aren’t shared as a means to scare, the reality is that Missouri drivers would do well to remember and heed them. It can help to put into perspective just how lethal these multi-ton vehicles can be so that the next time you share the road, you keep alert, practice safe driving, and, should an accident occur, know that you can hold the responsible party accountable.

Missouri Commercial Trucking Accident Lawyers

At Finney Injury Law, we recognize the significance of understanding the numbers behind commercial truck accidents and their impact on individuals and communities.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a commercial trucking accident, it’s essential to be informed about the statistics and trends surrounding these incidents. Our dedicated legal team at Finney Injury Law is here to provide expert legal guidance and support during this challenging time.

Don’t navigate the aftermath of a commercial trucking accident alone. Contact us today at 314-293-4222 for a free consultation and let us help you understand your rights and options. Together, we can work towards securing the compensation you deserve.

Posted Under: Truck Accident

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