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Fatal Truck-Involved Crashes Drop, But Injury Crashes Increase

April 18, 2016

By David Cullen

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Photo: FMCSA
Photo: FMCSA

The number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes decreased by 5%, from 3,921 to 3,744, in 2014 vs. 2013, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s latest annual Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts report. And the rate of large trucks involved in fatal crashes over that period declined by 6%.

Reinforcing those positive developments, the agency’s analysis of crash statistics also found that vehicle miles traveled (VMT) increased 1.5% year-over-year for large trucks.

On the other hand, the report also determined that from 2013 to 2014, the number of large trucks involved in injury crashes climbed by 21%, from 73,000 to 88,000. The large truck involvement rate in injury crashes rose as well by 21%. Also up was the number of large trucks involved in property-damage-only crashes, jumping from 265,000 to 346,000— making for a 31% hike.

Other noteworthy statistics from the exhaustive report include:

  • There were 657 large truck occupant fatalities in 2014, of which 90% were drivers of large trucks and 10% were passengers in large trucks. 
  • Of the approximately 411,000 police-reported crashes involving large trucks in 2014, 3,424 (1%) resulted in at least one fatality, and 82,000 (20%) resulted in at least one nonfatal injury.
  • Approximately 6% of all fatal crashes involving large trucks occurred on rural roads and 26% on rural or urban Interstate highways. 
  • 37% of all fatal crashes, 19% of all injury crashes, and 20% of all property-damage-only crashes involving large trucks occurred at night (6:00 pm to 6:00 am). 
  • Most fatal crashes (84%) and nonfatal crashes (88%) involving large trucks occurred on weekdays (Monday through Friday).
  • Rollover was the first “harmful event” in 5% of all fatal crashes involving large trucks and 2% of all nonfatal crashes involving large trucks.
  • “Singles” (truck tractors pulling a single semi-trailer) accounted for 63% of the large trucks involved in fatal crashes in 2013; Doubles (tractors pulling two trailers) made up 2% of the large trucks involved in fatal crashes; and Triples (tractors pulling three trailers) accounted for 0.1% of all large trucks involved in fatal crashes.
  • Of the 3,697 drivers of large trucks involved in fatal crashes in 2014, 202 (5%) were 25 years of age or younger, and 216 (6 %) were 66 years of age or older.
  • Of the 3,697 drivers of large trucks involved in fatal crashes in 2014, 335 (9%) were not wearing a safety belt at the time of the crash; of those, 30% were completely or partially ejected from the vehicle.
  • “Speeding of Any Kind” was the most frequent driver-related factor for drivers of both large trucks and passenger vehicles, “Distraction/Inattention” was the second most common for large truck drivers.

The online edition of Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts provides Excel files containing data for each of the report's numerous data tables and graphs.

A printable version of the complete report is also available for dowloading from FMCSA.

Comments

  1. 1. Scott [ April 18, 2016 @ 10:37AM ]

    I would love to see the stats on who were "at fault" in these accidents. It's easy to paint with a broad brush to say "xxx number of large trucks were involved in these accidents" but I'd love to hear why they were involved in the first place! We all know that passenger vehicles cause a LARGE majority of these incidents...

  2. 2. Liz Fernwalt [ April 19, 2016 @ 03:45AM ]

    I would also like to see who was at fault in the accidents. So many times trucks are not at fault and have accidents to avoid hitting someone who cut them off, etc.

  3. 3. Steve [ April 22, 2016 @ 07:37AM ]

    Well with No Traction Tires,named Low Rolling Resistance Tires and Log Rules which force you to drive when you're tired(the 14 hour law),Who do you think is at fault ? THE GOVERNMENT !

 

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