An Analysis of Truck Accidents in Combat

Military trucks are vital for keeping the army operational on the ground. They are the lifeblood of the battlefield, as they are used to transport supplies including food, water, ammunition, fuel, medicine, and many other things needed by the troops.

These trucks are also used to move around during combat, as they are designed to travel on asphalted and unpaved dirt roads.

However, traveling in them in combat zones exposes the trucks and their occupants to the risk of accidents.

Over 3,000 tactical vehicle accidents were reported by the U.S. Government Accountability Office in almost a decade. The accidents claimed 123 service members’ lives. 

Military personnel are not the only ones at risk of truck accidents; civilians may also be victims.

If you or your loved one is injured by a truck, whether military or non-military, hiring a truck accident lawyer can help you get compensation. 

Uses of military trucks

Military trucks are used for two major purposes during combat: logistics and specialized roles.


Trucks are used to move supplies such as food, water, ammunition, fuel, medicine, and more on the battlefield. These items are essential for the survival of the soldiers on the frontlines and play a significant role in attack coordination. 

The lack of the required items can leave soldiers stranded and ineffective. 

Trucks also make the movement of troops and their equipment around the battlefield easier.

Depending on the usage and circumstances of the combat, the military may use typical commercial trucks for these purposes.

Specialized usage

Some military trucks are designed specially for certain usages on the battlefield. Tank transporter trucks, for instance, are designed to carry the main battle tanks, which are typically too heavy to drive long distances.

There are specialized trucks that travel with certain units to repair damaged vehicles to sustain attacks on the enemy.

Soldiers also operate trucks that act as missile launchers for rockets and missiles. 

Trucks used for specialized roles are designed and built from scratch specifically for military use. They have increased reliability compared to typical trucks and also offer top-notch protection for the crews operating them.

Causes of truck accidents in combat

Combat is a fight between two armed forces. Trucks play a significant role in strategy and maneuvering to gain an advantage against the enemy. However, they are prone to accidents, which may be caused by one of the following:

Enemy action

Truck accidents may result from ambushes and other coordinated attacks from the enemy, such as placing improvised explosive devices (IEDs) on the road or attacking it with rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs).

Road network and conditions

Military drivers often transport people on roads they are not initially familiar with. Curvy roads and dirt roads pose a higher risk of accidents than asphalt roads.

In 2023, two U.S. Army soldiers lost their lives and 12 others were injured after a military truck flipped on a dirt road leading to training in Alaska.

Vehicle maintenance

Like any other vehicle, military trucks need adequate and scheduled maintenance for proper functioning and safety.

The harsh environment and constant use can result in different malfunctions, such as brake failure and tire blowouts if the vehicle’s maintenance is ignored.

Driver fatigue and stress

Soldiers are usually stressed during combat. It is estimated that 76 percent of active soldiers sleep for fewer than seven hours, compared to 37 percent of the general U.S. population.

For drivers, this may result in fatigue and stress, which can impact driving performance, leading to truck accidents.

Vehicle overload

The lack of enough trucks and the urgent need for supplies can force the soldiers to overload a truck. 

This can affect the stability and handling of the truck, which can result in an accident. However, the use of backpacks has reduced the heavy dependence on logistic trucks for supplies.

Navigating military truck accident claims

Both military personnel and civilians injured in a military truck accident can pursue legal compensation.

Civilians and retired or discharged army officers can file claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FCTA).

The FCTA is a 1946 federal statute that allows individuals to sue the U.S. government for injury caused by persons acting on behalf of the country.

However, it generally prohibits active service members from suing the military for injuries sustained on duty.

Meanwhile, soldiers still active in service can seek compensation for injuries sustained during military truck accidents using alternative paths like the Military Claims Act and the Federal Employee Liability Reform and Tort Compensation Act of 1988 (FELRTCA).

If you or your loved ones are injured due to the negligence of a military truck driver, consult a reputable truck accident lawyer to get advice on the best way to get compensation.