Truck and bus crash data

Trucking is essential to the national economy. Virtually every product sold is transported by truck. But with its economic importance comes accountability, as trucking is also a major highway safety hazard.

Every year the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration publishes  a Motor Carrier Safety Progress Report.  The report for 2008, published in October 2009, shows some decrease in injuries and fatalities corresponding with the decrease of trucking traffic in the recession. However, nationwide in 2008, there were:

  • 90,000 injuries involving large trucks
  • 4,229 fatalities involving large trucks
  • 24,000 injuries involving buses
  • 307 fatalities involving buses

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reports that in 2007, one out of nine traffic fatalities resulted from a collision involving a large truck. That year,  413,000 large trucks (gross vehicle weight rating greater than 10,000 pounds) were involved in traffic crashes in the United States; 4,584 were involved in fatal crashes. A total of 4,808 people died (12% of all the traffic fatalities reported in 2007) and an additional 101,000 were injured in those crashes.

Georgia, as a hub of transportation in the Southeast,  ranks among the top five states in the nation in the number of fatalities due to crashes of large trucks, ranking just behind California, Texas and Florida. In 2004, for example, there were 233 fatalities in large truck crashes in Georgia, accounting for 14.25 percent of the 1,634 traffic fatalities in our state. The Georgia experience is fairly typical.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration published the Large Truck Crash Causation Study in 2006. Among the most prominent causes of crashes are driver fatigue, equipment maintenance issues, driver working environment, driver performance (related to training, experience, health, etc.), vehicle design and loading,and actions of other vehicles.