The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today released “Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts, 2014.” This recurring annual report contains descriptive statistics about crashes involving large trucks and buses that caused fatalities, injuries, or property damage.
For comparative purposes, crash statistics on passenger vehicles are also presented. Among the findings: The number of large trucks involved in injury crashes increased by 21%. Fatal crashes decreased in 2014 when compared to 2013.
The analysis also found year-over-year vehicle miles traveled (VMT) increased in large trucks (1.5 percent) and buses (5.5 percent) in 2014.
Crashes: The Trend
- Approximately 61 percent of all fatal crashes involving large trucks occurred on rural roads and 26 percent on rural or urban Interstate highways.
- Thirty-seven percent of all fatal crashes, 19 percent of all injury crashes, and 20 percent of all property damage only crashes involving large trucks occurred at night (6:00 pm to 6:00 am).
- The vast majority of fatal crashes (84 percent) and nonfatal crashes (88 percent) involving large trucks occurred on weekdays (Monday through Friday).
- There were 10.7 fatal large truck crashes per million people in the United States in 2014, a 1-percent increase from 2010.
The Vehicles: The Trend
- In 2014, 3,744 large trucks were involved in fatal crashes, 88,000 were involved in injury crashes, and 346,000 were involved in property damage only crashes.
- “Collision with vehicle in transport” was recorded as the most harmful event for 73 percent of the large trucks involved in fatal crashes.
- Truck tractors pulling a single semi-trailer) accounted for 63 percent of the large trucks involved in fatal crashes in 2013; doubles (tractors pulling two trailers) made up 2 percent of the large trucks involved in fatal crashes; and triples (tractors pulling three trailers) accounted for 0.1 percent of all large trucks involved in fatal crashes.
- Hazardous materials were present on 3 percent of the large trucks involved in fatal crashes and 2 percent of those in nonfatal crashes.
The People: The Trend
- Of the 3,697 drivers of large trucks involved in fatal crashes in 2014, 202 (5 percent) were 25 years of age or younger, and 216 (6 percent) were 66 years of age or older. In comparison, 8 (3 percent) of the 232 drivers of buses in fatal crashes were 25 years of age or younger, and 35 (15 percent) were 66 years of age or older.
- About 2 percent of all the drivers of large trucks involved in fatal crashes in 2014 were female, compared with 30 percent of all drivers of buses involved in fatal crashes.
- Of the 3,697 drivers of large trucks involved in fatal crashes in 2014, 335 (9 percent) were not wearing a safety belt at the time of the crash; of those, 30 percent were completely or partially ejected from the vehicle.
- In 2014, at least one driver-related factor was recorded for 34 percent of the large truck drivers in fatal crashes, compared to 58 percent of the passenger vehicle drivers in fatal crashes. “Speeding of Any Kind” was the most frequent driver-related factor for drivers of both vehicle types; “Distraction/Inattention” was the second most common for large truck drivers, and “Impairment (Fatigue, Alcohol, Illness, etc.)” was the second most common for passenger vehicle drivers.
Article by Michael Jay Leizerman
Michael Jay Leizerman is the managing partner at EJ Leizerman & Associates, LLC, Toledo, OH. He is a frequent lecturer who teaches other attorneys how to handle truck accident cases across the country.