Utah Truck Accident Statistics

Truck accidents are often traumatic and can inflict severe physical injuries and long-term psychological issues on those involved. Although some people fully recover after truck accidents, many victims deal with chronic pain, limited mobility, and other permanent medical conditions. Truck accidents in Utah are all too common. When they occur, they are often fatal.

But just how common are truck accidents in the Beehive State? The Utah truck accident lawyers of Swenson & Shelley PLLC share fatal accident statistics, analyze common types of truck accidents, and explain what happens to the people involved. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a truck accident that wasn’t your fault, reach out to us today for a free consultation.

Truck Accident Statistics in Utah and the United States

Data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) show there were just over 1,000 large truck crashes in Utah in one recent year. These truck crashes caused 51 deaths and 483 injuries.

Truck accidents aren’t just an issue in Utah – they’re a growing problem nationwide. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 5,000 large trucks were involved in fatal crashes in the United States in one recent year. The likeliest point of initial impact was the front of the vehicle, accounting for just over 43 percent of total fatal collisions. About 11 percent of fatal truck accidents involved collisions with non-motorists, such as pedestrians or bicyclists.

Recent Motor Vehicle Accident Statistics on Crashes and Casualties in Utah

According to the Utah Department of Public Safety’s (UDPS) Highway Safety Office, more than 60,000 accidents occurred in Utah in a recent year. Of those crashes, nearly 300 were fatal, and more than 18,000 resulted in injury. These accidents led to 332 deaths and 26,437 injuries across Utah.

Crash rates for younger drivers are high. In one recent year, more than 13,000 accidents involved teenage drivers, according to UDPS, while drivers aged 13-20 accounted for nearly 17,000 collisions.

The UDPS reports that distracted driving was responsible for 5,484 accidents in one recent year. Distracted driving accounted for three percent of all fatal accidents in the state that year.

Drinking and driving is a significant problem in our state. It accounted for 918 crashes and 61 fatalities in one recent year, according to the UDPS. The UDPS also reports there were 189 drug-related crashes that year.

Crashes involving older drivers, holiday-related accidents, and speed-related accidents also accounted for a significant number of accidents that year.

Most Common Types of Truck Accidents

There are many different types of truck accidents. Some of the most common include:

  • Rollover accidents – Because trucks have a higher center of gravity than passenger cars, they’re susceptible to rolling over due to sudden maneuvers like swerving or slamming on the brakes.
  • Rear-end collisions – Tractor-trailers are challenging to maneuver and require a much greater stopping distance than small cars. A truck driver tailgating another vehicle likely won’t stop in time to avoid a collision. The occupants in a passenger vehicle can get trapped or crushed by the weight of a commercial truck slamming into the back of the car.
  • Head-on collisions – A truck driver might cause a head-on collision if they lose control of the truck or become distracted and drift into the adjacent lane and oncoming traffic. Head-on accidents involving large trucks are often deadly.
  • Jackknife accidents – A jackknife accident can occur when a truck driver makes a sudden maneuver or brakes improperly, causing the trailer to swing toward the cab at its point of articulation. A skidding trailer is unpredictable and endangers the lives of everyone nearby. The trailer can strike cars in its path and drag them along the road.
  • Wide-turn accidents – Semi-trucks lack the maneuverability to make tight right-hand turns. Consequently, truck drivers can collide with nearby vehicles if they don’t leave themselves enough space or check their blind spots before making a right turn.
  • T-bone crashes – A T-bone accident is one in which the front of one vehicle collides with the broad side of another vehicle. They commonly occur at intersections when a truck driver blows through a stop sign or doesn’t yield the right-of-way.

What to Do After a Truck Accident in Utah

Knowing what to do after a truck accident in Utah can help you protect your legal rights to compensation. Stay at the crash scene until emergency medical services and law enforcement arrive, even if you are not injured. Here are some additional steps you can take after a truck crash:

  • Seek medical care – See your doctor immediately if you are not taken to the hospital from the crash scene. Even if you have minor injuries, they must be examined and treated. Your medical record could be significant evidence if you take legal action. Follow your doctor’s recommended treatment plan, and keep all follow-up appointments. This will signal to insurance companies that your injuries are significant enough to require a fair settlement.
  • Gather evidence – Take pictures of the accident scene, including vehicle damage, visible injuries, skid marks on the road, and nearby traffic signs. Ask the truck driver for their contact information and the trucking company that hired them. Get the contact information of any witnesses who saw the crash. Keep all your medical bills, pay stubs, and other documents that are proof of your losses from the accident. Consider keeping a “pain journal” to record how your injuries affect you physically and emotionally.
  • Hire an experienced truck accident lawyer – An attorney can investigate the circumstances of the crash, gather evidence to prove the other driver is responsible, and identify all possible sources of compensation for your injuries and other losses. You won’t have to worry about completing paperwork, adhering to deadlines, or communicating with the insurance adjuster. An attorney can relieve you of these burdens and handle everything for you so you can concentrate on your recovery.

How Can an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer Help Me?

Truck accidents are often traumatic and result in life-changing injuries for those involved. You might face significant pain, mounting medical bills, and lost wages after a severe truck crash. However, you should not have to bear the financial burden of an accident that was not your fault. The experienced truck accident lawyers at Swenson & Shelley PLLC can advocate for your rights and help you seek the compensation you deserve. Contact our Utah office today to learn more about how we can help.