Truck Accident Statistics

Serving Fishkill, Poughkeepsie and Nearby Areas in New York

Text Resize

-A +A

According to the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), the roads of the United States witness hundreds of thousands of truck accidents each year. Approximately 5,000 people die each year in truck accidents and alarmingly, 98% of the time it is the occupants of the other vehicle, not the truck, who die. If you have been in an accident, please call our Poughkeepsie area attorney at (845) 896-5295 for a free consultation.

However, contrary to popular belief, more than 75% of truck accidents are caused, not by the truck driver, but because of an error of the driver of other smaller vehicles involved in the crash.

Truck accident statistics for 2003 showed that truck accidents occur more in rural areas (68%) than in urban regions (32%), with the weekends having the majority of all fatal truck accidents at 78%.

Driving under the influence of alcohol and other drugs is seen as one of the leading causes of truck accidents. But the truck accident statistics have another story to tell. As per statistics, only about 1% of all fatal truck accidents in 2003, in the US, could be attributed to a drunken truck driver. Truck driver fatigue though does play an important role in truck accidents, with more than 30% of all truck accidents caused due to truckers driving without taking enough rest and getting the required amount of sleep.

The Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that up to seven out of every 10 truck wrecks are caused by fatigued truck drivers. Trucking companies often impose delivery deadlines that leave little room for drivers to stop and sleep while traveling -- and tired drivers are prone to mistakes that can prove fatal for other motorists.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that in crashes involving large trucks and other vehicles, 98% of the fatalities occur to the people in passenger vehicles.

The majority of fatal truck accidents occur in rural areas (68 percent) during the daytime (66 percent) and on weekdays (78 percent).

In 2002, the majority of large truck crashes occurred in good weather (71 percent), on dry roads (71 percent), during the daytime (75 percent), and on weekdays (88 percent).

About 27 percent of all large truck drivers involved in fatal truck accidents throughout the United States had at least one prior speeding conviction compared to 19 percent of the passenger vehicle drivers involved in fatal crashes.

From 1992 to 2002, the number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes has increased by up to 10% due to driver fatigue, unsafe vehicle operation, large, unstable loads or defective equipment.

Trucking revenues are forecast to reach $1 Trillion by 2015

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration November 2007

2006 Police-Reported Motor Vehicle Traffic Crashes

Crash Type

Large Trucks

All Vehicles

Fatal

4,321

38,588

Injury

77,000

1,746,000

Property Damage Only

287,000

4,189,000

Total

368,000

5,974,000

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and General Estimates System (GES).
Note: A large truck is defined as a truck with gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) greater than 10,000 pounds.

Motor Carrier Safety Progress Report (as of 6/30/09)

SAFETY OUTCOMES

2006

2007

2008

Rate of Fatalities Involving Large Trucks
and Buses (per 100 million total VMT)*

0.177

0.169**

***

Total Fatalities Involving Large Trucks
and Buses

5,347

5,116

4,525**

Fatalities Involving Large Trucks

5,027

4,822

4,229**

Fatalities Involving Single-Unit
Trucks

1,339

1,300

1,159**

Fatalities Involving Combination-Unit
Trucks

3,776

3,633

3,151**

Fatalities Involving Buses****

337

325

307**

Rate of Injuries Involving Large Trucks
and Buses (per 100 million total VMT)

4.17

4.09**

***

Total Injuries Involving Large Trucks
and Buses

126,000

124,000

113,000

Injuries Involving Large Trucks

106,000

101,000

90,000

Injuries Involving Buses

21,000

24,000

24,000

Total VMT (millions; includes trucks,
buses, and passenger vehicles)

3,014,371

3,029,822**

***

Large Truck VMT

222,513

226,963**

***

Bus VMT

6,783

6,976**

***

*Fatality Rate Formula: Fatality rate = [(Number of fatalities involving large trucks and buses / Total VMT) x 100].
**Preliminary
***Data not available
****Includes all occupants and non-occupants killed in all bus crashes.
Note: Individual subtotals may not add to totals due to the potential for double counting (e.g., fatalities or injuries in a truck-bus crash).
Sources: NHTSA, fatalities and injuries; FHWA, vehicle miles traveled (VMT).

DATA QUALITY

ACCURACY

Percentage of FMCSA reported crashes
matched to a carrier

Percentage of FMCSA reported inspections
matched to a carrier

TIMELINESS

Percentage of FMCSA crashes
reported within 90 days

Percentage of FMCSA inspections
reported within 21 days

COMPLETENESS

Percentage of fatal crashes reported
to FMCSA

Percentage of nonfatal crashes
reported to FMCSA (initiated 10/07)

Percentage of all crash reports
with complete driver/vehicle
data (initiated 10/07)

*Data not available.
Sources: MCMIS (State-reported crash data), NHTSA (fatal crash data).
PROGRAM OUTPUTS

FY 2007
Total

FY 2008
Total*

FY 2009
(Oct 2008-
Jun 2009)

Federal

State

Federal

State

Federal

State

COMPLIANCE REVIEWS (CRs)

Total Number of CRs

10,256

5,859

9,642

5,980

7,940

4,946

Hazardous Material (HM) Reviews

1,973

808

1,835

938

1,501

888

Household Goods Reviews

489

9

608

21

477

7

Motor Coach Reviews

1,041

192

1,039

267

965

155

Conditional Carrier Reviews

2,634

784

2,302

783

1,836

559

NEW ENTRANT SAFETY AUDITS

Total New Entrant Safety Audits (Percent Completed on Time)

5,706
(95%)

32,620
(98%)

3,997
(95%)

33,398
(98%)

2,726
(94%)

25,631
(99%)

ROADSIDE INSPECTIONS

Trucks

92,900

3,135,368

102,723

3,234,053

80,772

2,426,234

HM Trucks

4,453

194,668

4,466

195,354

3,328

160,474

Buses

21,644

126,223

16,375

133,294

12,633

63,276

At U.S. Borders**

Trucks (Canada/ Mexico Domiciled ***)

63,898

212,083

74,384

208,477

59,425 149,761

Buses (Canada/ Mexico Domiciled)

2,647

740

1,771

599

1,238

407

Northern Border ( Canada Domiciled)

321

63,833

250

63,747

122

38,478

Southern Border ( Mexico Domiciled ***)

66,224

148,990

75,905

145,329

60,541

111,690

Notice-of-Claim Letters Issued

5,905

6,083

5,013

Unsat/Unfit Out - of - Service (OOS) Orders

774

1,015

894

90-Day No-Pay OOS Orders

1,045

1,152

1,055

DRIVER/VEHICLE INSPECTIONS / OOS RATES

Driver

Vehicle

Driver

Vehicle

Driver

Vehicle

Total Number of Truck Inspections

3,172,923

2,263,702

3,287,738

2,270,174

2,476,480

1,655,460

Total Number of Bus Inspections

54,854

125,926

51,339

130,942

39,708

62,002

Truck OOS Rate

6.9%

23.2%

6.6%

23.2%

5.8%

22.1%

Bus OOS Rate

3.7%

7.9%

4.8%

7.7%

4.1%

7.4%

INCREASING SAFETY AND SECURITY AWARENESS

HM Package Inspections

7,815

6,894

4,671

Security Contact Reviews

2,065

1,796

296

*Preliminary.
**Counts now based on Census vs. inspection address.
***Mexico-domiciled trucks operating in the U.S. Commercial Zone only.

If you have been injured in an accident, or if you have lost a loved one in this type of accident, please contact The Maurer Law Firm to schedule a free consultation with experienced accident attorney Ira Maurer.

ATTORNEY ADVERTISING. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. This website is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney-client relationship. In keeping with various state regulations, this website is designated as lawyer advertising. Click here for complete disclaimer and privacy information.