Size matters in traffic accidents. Traffic accidents involving large vehicles frequently result in more, and more severe, injuries to those in the smaller vehicles. 18-wheeler commercial trucks are the blue whales of the highways. Nothing is bigger. Consequently, accidents between passenger cars and tractor-trailer rigs are much more likely to end in death or severe injuries, with those fates falling disproportionately upon the occupants of the passenger vehicles. It is not that the occupants of the 18-wheelers are never killed or injured – of course they are. But the occupants of passenger vehicles involved in accidents with tractor-trailers invariably suffer more serious injuries.
Accidents With Large Trucks Can Lead to Severe Injuries
More than 4,100 people were killed in traffic accidents involving large commercial trucks in 2019. In 2018, there were 176,000 people injured in such accidents. Of the 2019 fatalities in crashes involving large trucks, only 16% were occupants of the trucks, while 67% were occupants of passenger vehicles. The rest were motorcyclists, bicyclists, or pedestrians. Similarly, in 2018 82% of the deaths in accidents involving tractor-trailer rigs and other large commercial trucks occurred among people who were not occupants of the trucks. Every year, the vast majority of both injuries and fatalities in crashes involving large commercial trucks and passenger vehicles are not occupants of the trucks.