Big Rig Accidents in Michigan
Michigan State Police maintains meticulous records about traffic accidents involving different types of vehicles. Additional data about big rig crashes can be obtained from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website.
Accident Statistics: Crashes and Fatalities
Michigan is one of the states that see a fairly large number of crashes, especially big rig collisions that have a fatal outcome. FMCSA has detailed crash statistics for the period from 2005 to 2015.
|Year||Number of Fatal Crashes||Number of Fatalities|
Newer data suggests that so far in 2017, there have been 721 large trucks involved in traffic accidents. The number of crashes was 689, causing 16 deaths and 195 injuries. In comparison, there were 4,266 crashes in 2016 that led to 115 deaths and 1,328 injuries.
According to the report for 2011, there were 10,885 collisions involving trucks during the year (there isn’t information focused solely on big rigs, which is why the number is much higher than the FMCSA numbers). Of these, 73 caused deaths and there were 1,903 injuries.
Causes of Big Rig Accidents in Michigan
Michigan’s police have also classified the accidents on the basis of the most common causes. The report for 2011 has established the following common contributing factors:
- Speeding that made the driver incapable of stopping
- Disregard for traffic lights by the driver
- Use of the wrong lane
- Speeding and other truck driver behaviors
- Careless and negligent driving
As you can see, the behavior of the driver is most important, and it causes the vast majority of crashes. Vehicle-related factors and environmental conditions contribute to a smaller portion of the accidents.
Semi-trucks rank among the most dangerous vehicles on the road because of their size. Also, these vehicles are often used for the transportation of hazardous cargo. The specific contributes to even bigger problems.
Every single day, over 800,000 shipments of hazardous materials are transported throughout the country, the US Department of Transportation reports. The most common types of dangerous materials include flammable liquids and gases.
Nearly 200 hazmat trucks are involved in fatal crashes on an annual basis. There are also about 5,000 collisions that are non-fatal. Statistics from the period from 1991 to 2000 suggest that the number of accidents has been increasing – from 198 hazmat trucks involved in fatal collisions in the first year of the survey to 215 in the last one.
Cargo releases have taken place in about 31 percent of the crashes. For non-hazmat rigs, the number is only 20.9 percent. Thus, it’s easy to conclude that the nature of the truck cargo could contribute to additional risks.