According to nsc.org, large commercial truck accidents kill thousands of people each year in the United States, and these deadly crashes are on the rise. Moreover, over 100,000 people are injured every year in large truck accidents. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration defines large trucks as any medium or heavy truck that has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of over 10,000 pounds.
In 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) started using a new system to estimate the number of nonfatal accidents. The Crash Report Sampling System (CRSS) system utilizes a more diverse sampling design than earlier estimates, but it is not comparable to previous data years, so the valuable data sets begin from 2016.
According to the Crash Report Sampling System, in 2020, more than 4,800 large trucks were involved in deadly accidents, which is a 33 percent increase since 2011. The involvement rate per one hundred million truck miles driven has grown by 18% since 2011.
The NHTSA states that large trucks account for:
- 4% of all documented motor vehicles.
- 9% of all fatal motor vehicle accidents.
- 10% of all miles driven.
The majority of casualties in large-truck collisions are occupants/passengers riding inside non-large trucks (71%), followed by occupants riding inside large trucks (17%), and pedestrians and cyclists (12%). Fortunately, the number of accident-related injuries decreased by 8% in 2020. Over half of deadly large-truck accidents happened along rural roads, and about twenty-five percent of fatal truck accidents occurred on interstates. A surprising statistic provided by the NHTSA is that sixty-three percent of deadly truck accidents occur during daylight hours. The peak month for deadly truck collisions is October.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that there has been a drop in the number of fatal motor vehicle accidents. However, large truck fatalities have not been on the decline. Tragically, statistics show that truck drivers are passing away more now than at any other time in the past thirty years.
Safety regulators in the United States have been hard at work passing laws to force auto manufacturers to make their passenger vehicles safer. Some of these regulations have led to the creation of more advanced safety features that prevent accidents. These new safety systems include forward-collision warnings, lane-departure warnings, automatic emergency braking systems, and many others. Some of the newest technology helps drivers avoid collisions. These safety systems are now being developed and integrated into large trucks. As the technology matures, the NHTSA and other government agencies could mandate truck owners and manufacturers to add these safety systems to their vehicles.
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