The number of fatal accidents involving large trucks increased slightly from 2018 to 2019, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s recently updated Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts.
While the actual number of fatal crashes rose, the number of fatalities in crashes involving large trucks dropped by one from 2018 to 2019. The total number of fatal crashes involving large trucks in 2019 was the highest since 2005, which saw 4,551 fatal crashes involving large trucks.
The FMCSA defines large trucks as vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating over 10,000 pounds.
Of the approximately 510,000 police-reported crashes involving large trucks in 2019, there were 4,479 fatal crashes and 114,000 injury crashes. That’s compared to 4,461 fatal crashes and 107,000 injury crashes the year before. The total number of fatalities in crashes involving large trucks fell by one from 5,006 in 2018 to 5,005 in 2019. Additionally, there were an estimated 158,000 people injured in crashes involving large trucks, according to FMCSA’s data.
There were 892 large truck occupant fatalities in 2019, an increase of less than 1 percent from the 890 fatalities in 2018. In 2019, 86% of these occupant fatalities were drivers of large trucks, and 14 percent were passengers in large trucks.
FMCSA also determined that about 57% of all fatal crashes involving large trucks occurred in rural areas, 25% occurred on interstate highways, and 13% fell into both categories by occurring on rural Interstate highways.
Additionally, 36% of all fatal crashes and 22% of injury crashes occurred at night between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., and 83% of fatal crashes occurred on weekdays.
FMCSA also collected data on the age of drivers involved in fatal crashes. Of the 4,949 drivers of large trucks involved in fatal accidents, 345 were between the ages of 18-25 and 306 were between the ages of 66 and 75. The largest percentage of drivers involved in fatal crashes were between the ages of 46 and 55 (25%).