The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released its annual report tracking large truck and bus crash data this week and determined that the overall involvement of trucks in crashes declined by 5% between 2013 and 2014, which includes a steep 33% drop in fatal crashes.
However, the agency also noted a significant one-year spike in trucks involved in injury and property-damage-only crashes as well.
Some of the major findings from FMCSA’s Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts 2014 report include:
- The number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes decreased by 5%, from 3,921 to 3,744, and the large truck involvement rate per 100 million miles traveled in fatal crashes dropped by 6%, from 1.43 to 1.34.
- Those decreases occurred despite an increase in vehicle miles traveled (VMT) by large trucks of 1.5%.
- The number of large trucks involved in injury crashes increased by 21% between 2013 and 2014, from 73,000 to 88,000, and the large truck involvement rate in injury crashes also increased by 21% during that one-year span.
- The number of large trucks involved in property-damage-only crashes increased by 31%, from 265,000 to 346,000, and the large truck involvement rate in property-damage-only crashes increased by 29%.
[See also: Charting the Data: Large Truck Crash Facts]
Pat Thomas, chairman of the American Trucking Associations (ATA) trade group senior VP of state government affairs at UPS, noted in a statement the decline in truck related fatalities and crashes “is significant” for the industry.
“It shows the continuation of the positive long-term trend, a trend made possible, in part, by our industry’s continued investment in safety tools and technologies,” he said.
“It is a tragedy whenever there is a fatality on our highways, but the trucking industry is pleased to see that it is a tragedy that fewer and fewer Americans are experiencing,” added Bill Graves, ATA’s president and CEO.
“While the one-year decline being reported by FMCSA is positive, the long-term trend is of paramount importance, and that trend is impressive,” he stressed. “The number of crashes involving large trucks had fallen 39% since 2004 and, while there is much more to do, that is a figure our professional drivers, our safety directors, our technicians and our safety partners in federal and state law enforcement can be proud of.”