Truck drivers tend to blame the majority of trucking crashes on passenger vehicles. Passenger vehicles usually blame truck crashes on the truck driver. Who’s in the right here? More importantly, who is really responsible for truck crashes?

Four Wheelers

The evidence is undeniable. Over the past 40 years, both federal investigators and independent trucking interest groups have found that four-wheel passenger vehicles are responsible for 80% of multi-vehicle trucking crashes. While many are quick to quote those numbers, they don’t tell the whole story.


Only looking at multi-vehicle accidents excludes a lot of information. It doesn’t include single-vehicle crashes, stricken pedestrians, or those involving property damage. As it turns out, single-vehicle crashes make up 40% of all large trucking wrecks.

To be clear, not all of these single-vehicle crashes are the fault of the driver. Negligent maintenance, weather, and other factors play a huge role in trucking crashes.

The Big Picture

Although it initially seems that trucking crashes are the result of passenger vehicles, things look a little different when we look at all of the evidence. Four-wheel vehicles are responsible for 80% of multi-vehicle truck crashes, but those only make up 60% of all trucking wrecks. Since drivers of passenger vehicles aren't responsible for all two-vehicle crashes, that means passenger vehicles are responsible for less than half of all truck crashes (48%). 

The other half of the more than 500,000 trucking crashes per year are the responsibility of the truck driver, negligent maintenance, or even unpredictable weather. Next time someone says that passenger vehicles cause most truck accidents, give them a gentle nudge and point them in the right direction.

If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries or even wrongful death in a trucking accident, you might have a case. If you’d like to schedule a free case consultation with an experienced Clarksville truck accident lawyer from Pete Olson Injury Attorneys, please send us an email or call (877) 438-7383.