Trucking Accident Statistics

2007 Report on Trucking Safety Statistics

Latest Statistics on Trucking Accidents

In January 2007, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration published a report on trucking safety.  The report is based on 2005 data.

Statistical findings from the report include:

  • Of all the people killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2008, 11 percent died in crashes that involved a large truck. Another 90,000 people were injured in crashes involving large trucks.
  • Only about 16 percent of those killed and 26 percent of those injured in large truck crashes were occupants of large trucks.
  • From 1998 to 2008, the number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes increased from 4,472 to 4,932—up 10 percent. The number of large trucks in fatal crashes per 100 million vehicle miles traveled declined in these years from 2.52 to 2.04—down 12 percent.The same rate for passenger vehicles fell from 2.2 to 1.7—down 23 percent.
  • From 1995 to 2005, the number of large trucks involved in injury crashes per 100 million vehicle miles traveled declined by 21 percent, while the rate for passenger vehicles dropped by 36 percent.
  • In 2007, large trucks accounted for 7 percent of all vehicle miles traveled and 4 percent of all registered vehicles in the United States. In motor vehicle crashes, large trucks represented:
    – 8 percent of vehicles in fatal crashes
    – 4 percent of vehicles in injury crashes
    – 5 percent of vehicles in property-damage-only crashes.
  • Large truck tractors pulling semi-trailers accounted for 62 percent of the large trucks involved in fatal crashes and about one-half of the large trucks involved in nonfatal crashes.
  • Doubles (truck tractors pulling a semi-trailer and a full trailer) were only 3 percent of large trucks involved in fatal crashes and 2 percent of large trucks involved in nonfatal crashes. Triples (truck tractors pulling three trailers) accounted for 0.1 percent of all large trucks involved.
  • Only 4 percent of large trucks involved in fatal crashes and 2 percent of large trucks involved in nonfatal crashes were carrying hazardous materials (HM). HM was released from the cargo compartment in 13 percent of these crashes.
  • Only 2 percent of the drivers of large trucks involved in fatal crashes in 2008 were legally intoxicated (blood alcohol content of 0.08 grams per deciliter or higher), as compared with 23 percent of passenger car drivers and 23 percent of light truck drivers in fatal crashes. Only 2 percent of the drivers of large trucks involved in fatal crashes had any alcohol in their bloodstream.
  • 77 percent of the drivers of large trucks involved in fatal crashes were reported by police as wearing their safety belts, compared with 61 percent of passenger vehicle drivers involved in fatal crashes.
  • In fatal crashes involving large trucks, driver-related factors were cited for 39 percent of the large truck drivers. In comparison, driver-related factors were noted for 66 percent of passenger vehicle drivers involved in fatal crashes. Some of the most common factors cited for drivers of large trucks and drivers of passenger vehicles were the same: driving too fast, failure to keep in proper lane, inattention, and failure to yield the right of way.
  • Speeding (exceeding the speed limit or driving too fast for conditions) was a factor in 22 percent of the fatal crashes involving a large truck, compared with 32 percent of all fatal crashes.
  • No adverse weather conditions were reported for 86 percent of the fatal crashes and for 88 percent of the nonfatal crashes involving large trucks. Rain was the most common adverse weather condition.
  • For 76 percent of the fatal crashes and for 69 percent of the nonfatal crashes involving large trucks, the first harmful event was a collision with another vehicle.
  • In two-vehicle fatal rear-end crashes, passenger vehicles struck large trucks in the rear three times more often than large trucks struck passenger vehicles in the rear—16 percent versus 5 percent (Figure 3).
  • In all two-vehicle fatal crashes involving a large truck and a passenger vehicle, the passenger vehicle struck the large truck more often than the reverse—54 percent versus 40 percent.
  • Rollover was the first harmful event for only 5 percent of the fatal crashes and only 2 percent of the nonfatal crashes involving large trucks.
  • One-quarter (25 percent) of fatal crashes that took place in work zones—areas of construction, maintenance, or utility activity—involved a large truck.

If you’ve been involved in a truck accident, or if someone in your family has been injured or killed in one, please contact our firm at 1-800-247-1623 or johnhart@hartlaw.com for a free consultation to discuss your legal rights.

Additional Trucking Accident Information:
Trucking Accident Frequently Asked Questions
Trucking Accident Statistics
Online Trucking Accident Resources
Federal Trucking Regulations