Pennsylvania Truck Accident Statistics
Large trucks are involved in more than 6,000 crashes each year on Pennsylvania roads. While some low-speed collisions only cause property damage, large trucks account for thousands of injury accidents and a disproportionate share of fatal crashes.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation classifies traffic accidents by vehicle type. For statistical purposes, the DOT classifies a truck as “light” or “heavy.” Pickup trucks and tow trucks are examples of light trucks. Heavy trucks include cement trucks, large delivery trucks, and tractor-trailers.
The trucking industry generally distinguishes “large” trucks (those weighing more than 10,000 pounds when loaded with cargo) from “heavy” trucks (those weighing more than 26,000 pounds when loaded). An average tractor-trailer (also known as a semi, an 18-wheeler, or a big rig) weighs about 35,000 pounds with no cargo. Most tractor-trailers are authorized to operate with a total weight of 80,000 pounds, so a 35,000-pound semi can carry 45,000 pounds of cargo.