Most people in Kentucky have likely read or heard about serious vehicle accidents including tractor-trailers or other large commercial vehicles. When these big rigs collide with smaller passenger vehicles, even trucks and sport utility vehicles, the occupants in the smaller vehicles may be at a significant disadvantage.

Despite efforts from vehicle manufacturers, legislators and governing bodies alike to improve safety on the roads, many people continue to be injured or killed in large truck accidents.

Kentucky’s rising truck fatalities

According to records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the five years spanning 2014 through 2018 saw a tragic increase in truck accident fatalities throughout Kentucky. In 2014, 68 people lost their lives in large truck crashes across the state. These fatalities represented 10% of the state’s total vehicular deaths that year. Two years later, 106 deaths occurred in truck accidents representing 12.7% of all accident fatalities.

In 2017, the state saw improvement with a reduction in truck deaths to 91. These fatalities accounted for 11.6% of all accident deaths. That year, total accident fatalities also decreased in number. In 2018, Kentucky’s vehicular death count continued to decline but the number of people killed in truck accidents increased. That year, truck accident fatalities represented 14.6% of all accident deaths in the state.

Recent stories highlight the ongoing risk

WTVQ recently reported on a crash that occurred along a stretch of KY 49 that sent the drivers of a passenger vehicle and a semi-truck to the hospital in critical condition. After driving into oncoming traffic, the trucker attempted to correct his path. This resulted in logs from his rig rolling into traffic and hitting the other vehicle.