According to the FMCSA, a recent report shows that truck fatality crashes have reached the highest levels since 2008.
The report states that in 2011, 3,608 fatalities resulted in truck-involved crashes, a 3% increase from 2010, however, the number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes declined by 12% from 2008 to 2011.
According to the FMCSA’s Large Truck and Bus Crash Report:
◆ Over the past 10 years (2001 through 2011), the number of trucks involved in fatal crashes fell from 4,823 to 3,608, a drop of 25 percent, and the number of trucks involved in injury crashes decreased from 90,000 to 63,000, a drop of 30 percent.
◆ Over the past 3 years (2008 through 2011), the number of trucks involved in fatal crashes declined by 12 percent, from 4,089 to 3,608, and the vehicle involvement rate for large trucks in fatal crashes (vehicles involved in fatal crashes per 100 million miles traveled by large trucks) increased by 2 percent and the number of large trucks involved in injury crashes decreased by 5 percent, from 66,000 to 63,000, and the vehicle involvement rate for large trucks in injury crashes increased by 10 percent.
◆ Alcohol was detected in the blood of 2.5 percent of large truck drivers in fatal crashes in 2011, compared with 27.3 percent of passenger vehicle drivers. For 1.2 percent of large truck drivers in fatal crashes in 2011, the blood alcohol concentration was 0.08 grams per deciliter or more, compared with 23.7 percent of passenger vehicle drivers.
◆ Large truck and bus fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled by all motor vehicles increased by 2 percent, from 0.133 in 2010 to 0.136 in 2011.
The FMCSA also examined the circumstances surrounding the truck crashes. The agency found that 1% of the 273,000 truck crashes in 2011, resulted in a fatality. Furthermore, single-vehicle crashes made up 22% of all fatal truck crashes.
In addition, the FMCSA found that a staggering 63% of all fatal crashes occurred on rural roads and 25% occurred on rural and urban interstates.
According to the report, 85% of all fatal and 89% of non-fatal crashes occurred on weekdays, with 65.9% of the crashes occurring between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.
The agency also evaluated speed at the time of the crash. The FMCSA found that 27% of truck-fatality crashes occurred at 50-55 miles per hour and 21% occurred at 60-65 miles per hour.
Speed was the leading crash factor and accounted for 12% of all crashes, while distracted driving came in a close second with 11.9%.