Big Rig Accidents in Delaware
Large trucks are part of life on the nation’s busy roads. Responsible for carrying 68 percent of goods in the U.S., including building and agricultural materials, semi-trucks can weigh anywhere from 10,000 to 80,000 pounds each and have 18 wheels per vehicle. They make up just a fraction of the number of accidents that occur each year. However, the size and weight of the vehicle often lead to catastrophic injuries when a truck collides with a car. The risks are as high in Delaware as in many larger states, because of the miles traveled and the number of vehicles on busy highways.
Delaware Large Truck Crash Statistics
Analyses from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reveals a static trend from 2011 to 2015 regarding fatal semi-truck accidents. The details on this crash type are as follows:
|Truck Crash Fatalities
There have been recent efforts to improve safety, with the construction of US 301 in New Castle County. The state Department of Transportation (DOT) noted the existing road was the site of six fatal crashes involving trucks from 2000 to 2013, which is 64 percent higher than the state average and 67 percent higher than the national average. There were 21 fatal crashes overall on that stretch of road over the same period.
The project also aims to redirect interstate trucks to ease congestion and improve safety.
Earlier data are available from the National Center for Statistics and Analysis. From 1996 to 2000, there were 59 large trucks involved in fatal accidents and 22 single-unit trucks in accidents that resulted in fatalities. The annual rate of large trucks in fatal crashes, per 1,000 miles of roadway, was 1.9, which is comparable to California, Georgia, Maryland, and Florida.
A 2014 Fact Book from the Delaware DOT noted 5,686 truck accidents that year, or 13 percent of all traffic incidents. That report revealed 36 vehicles in fatal crashes and 1,109 that caused personal injuries. Also, there were 4,541 crashes of large trucks that caused property damage. Truck tractors and semis were involved in a total of 664 crashes – four were fatal and 118 caused injuries, while 542 led to property damage, according to a Delaware State Police Statistical Report.
Between 2013 and 2014, truck crashes were on the increase. Safety issues such as alcohol and/or drug use, not wearing seatbelts, and driver fatigue or inattention were determined to be factors in many accidents. Other top-ranking causes of crashes include following a vehicle too closely, careless/reckless driving, or failure to yield right-of-way. A careless driver of a smaller motor vehicle can easily cause an accident, especially if the truck driver cannot see them, and their large vehicle takes more distance to respond to corrections.