Increased Trucking Accidents? Wisconsin Trucking Statistics Revealed

Trucking accidents are a national problem, and they are also common in Madison and throughout Wisconsin. In spite of strict regulations and a growing awareness of the dangers of distracted driving, data shows that trucking accidents aren’t becoming less frequent. Unfortunately, when these crashes involve other vehicles and/or pedestrians, injuries and deaths disproportionately affect the individuals who were not occupants of the truck.

At Boller & Vaughan, we know how devastating trucking accidents can be for those involved. Pursuing compensation for these incidents can be complicated, especially when there are multiple liable parties. Our team has helped many Wisconsin trucking accident victims successfully file for monetary damages to cover their medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. To learn what your options are, call 608-268-0268 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

Trucking Accidents in Wisconsin: Recent Statistics

Trucks are a common sight on Wisconsin roadways. According to data from the Americal Transportation Research Institute, trucks drove 6.5 billion miles on public roads in Wisconsin in 2019. In the same year, the trucking industry accounted for 1 in every 15 jobs in the state.

Sadly, Wisconsin’s trucking industry also accounted for many injuries and deaths on state roadways. In 2020 (the most recent year for which data is available), there were 5,921 large truck crashes in the state, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. These crashes accounted for 61 fatalities and 1,287 injuries, 182 of which were considered serious.

National Trucking Accident Data

Trucking accidents aren’t just a problem in Wisconsin, they are also an issue throughout the U.S. According to the National Safety Council, there were 4,842 large trucks involved in fatal accidents in the U.S. in 2020. That represents a 33-percent increase from 2011. Nationally, large trucks accounted for just 4 percent of all registered vehicles but 9 percent of vehicles involved in fatal crashes. 

The number of people killed in truck accidents in 2020 was 4,965, which is an increase of 31 percent from 2011. The vast majority of fatalities in large truck crashes that year were occupants of other vehicles (71 percent). Non-occupants, such as bicyclists and pedestrians, made up 12 percent of fatalities. Only 17 percent of deaths in these types of accidents were truck occupants.

Large trucks are also common fixtures in injury crashes. In 2020, the number of large trucks involved in injury crashes was 107,000 across the U.S. In that year, there were 147,000 injuries from large truck crashes, and 68 percent of those injured were occupants of other vehicles. Truck occupants made up 30 percent of injuries, and the remaining 2 percent were non-occupants.

Liability and Compensation in Wisconsin Trucking Accidents

Determining liability in a large truck accident can be very complicated, especially when multiple vehicles are involved. Liability can be divided among many different parties:

  • The truck driver
  • The other driver(s)
  • The trucking company
  • The maintenance provider for the truck and/or trailer
  • The cargo handlers/loaders
  • The manufacturer of the truck or its parts (e.g., brakes)
  • The owner/shipper of the cargo

Wisconsin state law uses a modified comparative negligence system for assigning fault in an accident. This means that every involved party may be considered partially liable. Your percentage of “fault” affects your ability to collect compensation after a trucking accident. A party that is determined to be 51 percent or more “at fault” is not eligible to collect compensation.

If you’re injured in a large truck accident, you may pursue financial compensation via an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit. There are two types of compensation: economic and non-economic damages. 

Economic damages cover your financial costs, such as medical bills and lost wages. Non-economic damages are designed to compensate you for intangible consequences, such as emotional pain and the loss of sexual affection. 

Due to Wisconsin’s modified comparative negligence doctrine, your “at-fault” percentage determines the amount of awarded damages that you can actually collect. For example, if you are 20 percent at fault and the jury awards $50,000 in damages, you can only collect 80 percent of that value ($40,000).

Contact Boller & Vaughan After a Trucking Accident

Despite strict federal regulations for drivers, trucking accidents continue to be a problem in Wisconsin. These crashes often cause severe injuries and deaths, usually to pedestrians and occupants of other vehicles. Determining liability, and therefore compensation, can be complex, and many victims end up accepting inadequate insurance settlements without knowing they have other options.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident, contact Boller & Vaughan. Our team can explain your legal options and help you know how much compensation you could potentially receive via an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. To reach our Madison office, call 608-268-0268 or fill out our online form.


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