Big Rig Accidents in Florida
Big rigs are a common sight on Florida highways. Transporting consumer goods, agricultural supplies, and building materials of all kinds, they share the roads with the state’s more than 16 million drivers. It’s not unheard of for a semi-tractor trailer to log 100,000 miles in a year, so these trucks are always on the roads. That means a few of them will be involved in the over 200,000 car accidents in the state that occur every year. Large trucks are involved in many accidents, and the potential for serious injuries and fatalities is high because of their sheer size. Cars that are hit head on, sideswiped, or crush by trucks weighing up to 80,000 pounds don’t stand much of a chance.
Florida Big Rig Accident Data
Data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicate the following from 2011 through 2015.
|Year||Number of Fatal Crashes|
An evaluation of traffic crash fatalities in 2005 revealed that heavy trucks accounted for twice as many fatalities, percentage-wise, then those related to passenger vehicles. This report showed that run off the road accidents represented 32 percent of crashes involving large trucks, while intersection crashes involved 28 percent.
Motor Vehicle Department Crash Data
In its annual report of Traffic Crash Facts, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reported 222 fatal crashes involving trucks over 10,000 pounds, and 4,812 accidents involving injuries. There were 23,703 large truck accidents resulting in vehicle or property damage, just 6.28 percent of the total number of incidents.
By county, the same report revealed there were 38,409 truck crashes in Broward County in 2015, still far less than the 63,451 reported in Miami-Dade County that year, with commercial motor vehicles (a category which big rigs are a part of) coming in at 8,720. Orange County, in Central Florida, had 28,130 crashes.
Additional Florida Truck Safety Data
Issued in May 2016, Traffic Safety Facts from the NHTSA reveal official numbers from 2014, which put Florida in third place for the number of large trucks in fatal crashes. Only California and Texas had more. The state represented 4.8 percent of the total fatal truck crashes in the country.
Nationally, NHTSA data from 2014 indicate that nearly three-quarters of those injured in large truck crashes were occupants of other vehicles. Occupants of large trucks represented less than a quarter of those injured in crashes. A majority of fatal crashes involved multiple vehicles, compared to crash statistics of passenger cars and other vehicles, with many involving the truck and other vehicle traveling straight. Aside from head-on collisions, other crash situations included a turn, negotiating a curve in the road, or vehicles stopped in a traffic lane. The report also found trucks were three times as more likely than other vehicles to be struck from the rear.