Large Truck and Bus Crash Statistics
Did you know there were 59,933 injury crashes involving large trucks in 2018? From 2017 to 2018, large truck and bus fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled by all motor vehicles remained constant at 0.160, 22 percent below the 21st-century peak of 0.205 in 2000. In Texas, there was 469 fatal crashes involving 18 Wheeler Trucks in 2018.
Singles (truck tractors pulling a single semi-trailer) accounted for 55 percent of the large trucks involved in fatal crashes in 2018; doubles (tractors pulling two trailers) made up 3 percent of the large trucks involved in fatal crashes; and triples (tractors pulling three trailers) accounted for 0.1 percent of all large trucks involved in fatal crashes.
Vehicle-related factors were coded for 6 percent of the large trucks involved in fatal crashes and 3 percent of the passenger vehicles involved in fatal crashes. “Other Working Vehicle” and “Tires” were the most common vehicle-related factors for large trucks in fatal crashes, at 2 percent and 1 percent, respectively. “Tires” was the most frequently coded vehicle-related factor for passenger vehicles in fatal crashes, at 1 percent.
What Causes Truck Accidents?
In 2018, 14 percent of large truck occupants in fatal crashes were not wearing a safety belt, of which 356 (45 percent) were killed in the crash. In contrast, only 8 percent of the 4,545 large truck occupants wearing safety belts in fatal crashes were killed. Ten percent of the 4,786 drivers of large trucks involved in fatal crashes were not wearing a safety belt at the time of the crash.
In 2018, 305 of the 4,786 large truck drivers in fatal crashes tested positive for at least one drug, although 60 percent of them were not tested. Conversely, 8,189 of the 51,490 drivers of all vehicles in fatal crashes tested positive for at least one drug, although 50 percent of them were not tested. A driver is more likely to be tested for drugs if there is information from the crash indicating that drugs may have been a factor.
In 2018, at least one driver-related factor was recorded for 32 percent of the large truck drivers in fatal crashes, compared to 53 percent of the passenger vehicle drivers in fatal crashes. “Speeding of Any Kind” was the most frequent driver-related factor for drivers of both vehicle types; “Distraction/Inattention” was the second most common for large truck drivers, and “Impairment (Fatigue, Alcohol, Illness, etc.)” was the second most common for passenger vehicle drivers.
Where Do Most Truck Accidents Occur?
Fatal crashes involving large trucks often occur in rural areas and on Interstate highways. Approximately 57 percent of all fatal crashes involving large trucks occurred in rural areas, 26 percent occurred on Interstate highways, and 13 percent fell into both categories by occurring on rural Interstate highways.
Of the approximately 499,000 police-reported crashes involving large trucks in 2018, there were 4,415 (1 percent) fatal crashes and 107,000 (21 percent) injury crashes.
Thirty-six percent of all fatal crashes, 23 percent of all injury crashes, and 19 percent of all property damage only crashes involving large trucks occurred at night (6:00 pm to 6:00 am).