According to the most recent set of statistics published by the U.S. federal government, the number of large commercial trucks involved in fatal accidents, and the total number of people killed in those accidents, increased.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration annually releases a publication titled, “Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts,” which includes comprehensive information on a year’s worth of large truck and commercial bus crashes in the country. The most recent edition, released in October 2013, includes commercial truck and bus crash statistics for 2011.
The report shows that 3,757 people died in accidents involving tractor-trailers in 2011. Of those killed, 3,122 individuals (83 percent) were passengers in other vehicles. In 2010, 3,686 people died in commercial trucking accidents, and 3,380 were killed in such accidents in 2009.
Further still, there were 3,341 fatal accidents involving commercial trucks in 2011, a marked increase over the reported 2,983 in 2009.
Leading Causes of Fatal Truck Accidents in 2011
Other pertinent information from the 2011 “Large Truck and Bus Crush Facts”:
· 29 percent of all multi-vehicle crashes that involved a commercial truck were caused by truck driver-related factors
· Speeding by the truck driver was the leading driver-related error in fatal accidents involving tractor-trailers
· Distractions, such as using a cell phone while driving, represented the second leading driver-related factor in fatal trucking accidents
· The third leading truck driving error or negligent behavior in fatal trucking accidents? Truck drivers impaired by alcohol, fatigue, or other factors.
While these numbers are two years old, this particular report goes back to 1975. And every year, like this most recent edition, the numbers clearly show just how dangerous inattentive truck drivers and the imposing size and weight of their big rigs are to other motorists.