Kentucky ranked among deadliest states in semi-truck crashes

The aftermath of a semi-truck accident is difficult to forget. Any smaller vehicle — whether a car, pickup or SUV – that collides with one of these colossal, several-ton trucks may become smashed beyond recognition. Catastrophic injuries and fatalities often result.

Like everyone else, Kentuckians have a difficult time accepting tragedies caused by a semi-truck. They also may find it alarming to know that Kentucky is considered one of the “deadliest dozen states” when it comes to semi-truck crashes.

Bluegrass State ranks 10th in the nation

A recent report from the Truck Safety Coalition ranked Kentucky 10th among states in the number of semi-truck-related fatalities per 100,000 residents. The safety group’s findings came from 2020 data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

According to the statistics, Kentucky recorded 2.6 truck-related fatalities per 100,000 residents in 2020. Among the deadliest states, the Bluegrass State tied for 10th with neighbor Tennessee. Alarmingly, six of the “deadliest dozen states” are in the Southeast. They also include Arkansas (2.9), Alabama (2.9), Mississippi (2.8) and South Carolina (2.5).

A total of 118 died in such crashes in Kentucky

According to the NHTSA, nearly 5,000 people died and nearly 147,000 injured in large truck accidents in 2020.

Kentucky reported 118 fatalities that year, having the 14th most such fatalities in the country. That number was far behind the 643 fatalities recorded by the top state of Texas, but comparable to the truck-related fatalities in Mississippi (119) and New York (117).

This development comes only a few months after the NHTSA released preliminary estimates that semi-truck-related fatalities climbed by 13% in the U.S. in 2021.

Fault lies with many players

The causes of semi-truck crashes are many. A drowsy, reckless and impaired driver may be at fault. The trucking company may have improperly loaded the truck, causing an unbalanced load. And defective parts and faulty maintenance may lead to these wrecks. Drivers must remain careful whenever sharing the road with these ever-present vehicles.


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