The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) regularly updates their analysis on large truck accidents, and the latest detailed study is based on 2009 statistics.

Crashes involving large trucks, or 18-wheelers or tractor-trailers, are the source of much debate in Florida because:
  • Most of the victims are passenger car occupants;
  • Motor carriers are subject to many safety regulations;
  • Large truck wrecks are usually devastating.

The first signal sent by the 2009 large truck crash study is that large truck safety has improved dramatically from 2008. This will come as a relief for Florida motorists who feel ill at ease sharing the road with monster trucks. The number of fatalities dropped 20 percent, from 4,245 to 3,380. The number of people injured decreased from 90,000 to 74,000, an 18 percent drop. Most victims continue to be occupants of passenger cars, who represent 74 percent of those who were killed and 76 percent of those who were injured in accidents involving large trucks.

Do truck drivers drink and drive?

The percentage of large-truck drivers involved in fatal crashes with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more was 2 percent in 2009. This compares with 23 percent for passenger car drivers, 23 percent for light trucks and 29 percent for motorcycles. The answer to the question is clear.

Are motorists at risk in Florida?

Florida large truck crashes follow the general picture in the United States. With 179 large trucks involved in fatal crashes in 2009 on a total of 3,497 fatal road accidents, the proportion of 18-wheeler accidents on total vehicle crashes is lower than the country's average. This, however, might be more a reflection of fewer trucks on Florida's roads than of safer driving.

Because large-truck crashes are so devastating, the still very high number of injured victims is a warning to Florida motorists that tractor-trailers are dangerous and that a safe distance should be kept from them at all times.

If you have been involved in a truck accident in North and Central Florida, call the Daytona Beach attorneys of Johnson & Gilbert PA today toll free at (800) 556-8890 and locally at (386) 673-4412, or fill out the form on this page for a free consultation.