Report: Car drivers at fault in nearly 80 percent of car-truck crashes

| February 14, 2013

In pulling together several significant studies from the last decade, the American Trucking Associations has released a report concluding that many more times than not, drivers of cars are at fault in fatal car-truck crashes, and the association has presented this to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration as more proof that the agency needs to do something about crash fault and accountability relative to its Compliance, Safety, Accountability program.

As it stands, any wreck a truck is involved in — whether the truck driver’s fault or not — adds points to a carrier’s and driver’s score.

ATA pulled together results from studies at the University of Michigan, FMCSA itself, the National Highway Safety Administration and others.

All showed that more than 80 percent of the time, crashes are the fault of car drivers.

Click here to see ATA’s report and more on each of the individual studies.

Also, click here to see coverage from a CSA Subcommittee meeting held last week in Washington, where Overdrive Senior Editor Todd Dills wrote that stakeholders involved with CSA — motor carriers, law enforcement officials and others — ranked crash accountability/preventability as their No. 1 concern with CSA.

Following that coverage, Overdrive Editor Max Heine wrote a blog detailing some ridiculous examples of motor carriers being dinged in their CSA score for a crash that clearly was not their fault at all. Click here to see it.

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  • Bob_Hearns

    Thank you for this article. It’s what truck drivers know, but the rest of society does not. Can we get mainstream media to present this. The public needs to know. Then there may be an effort to train 4-wheelers on how to drive around big trucks. It is badly needed.

  • Tracy Long Turner

    agreeing with Bob !!

  • martymarsh

    Wow, it only took 60 years to catch on.

  • Kenwortht800

    I agree with bob also

  • obama_is_not_my_president

    This is quoted from the ATA’s report link in this article.

    “Among two-vehicle car-truck crashes, the car was the encroaching vehicle in:
    89% of head-on crashes,
    88% of the opposite-direction sideswipes,
    80% of the rear-end crashes, and
    72% of the same-direction side-swipes.”

  • Big Good Bob

    I Keep saying those 4wheelers need to be held to the same standards we CDL drivers are held too. you will begin to see less accidents, and a penelty in the law for those who are profesional accident victoms

  • haller

    I have recently been shopping for a new car and I am shocked by all the electronic options you can have on your new car. All of these gadgets are a distraction to the driver starting with the telephone, and as we all know the phone today is way more than a phone. BUT no onboard camera aimed at the people in the car and the driver. This could easily be a federal law passed by our great Congress and would save Ins. companies millions of $. OOIDA, ATA and others, lets get this done..

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  • Michelle M

    Now try convincing the pencil pushers at the FMCSA office of these facts, because until they pull their heads out of the sand, they will continue to run the trucking industry into the ground.

  • Leann

    I think it should be mandatory that ANYONE getting a driver’s license should get in a semi for a ride along or get into a simulator. I had to do a speech not long ago in college. I did it on “Give truckers and their rigs respect”. I wish I could have taken pictures of some of the students’ faces when I showed them diagrams of blind spots. They had no clue! I told them one thing that I thought would help the trucker….” If you can not see the driver in their rear view mirror, then they can’t see you either”. Stay safe out there drivers! You have my respect, I was behind the wheel of a rig myself.

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  • Rod Hannifey

    The figures are similar in Australia and I have been pushing for eductaion of young drivers about sharing the road with trucks for many years. Two days ago I attended the Australasian College of Road Safety Convention and did a presentation of Road Safety from a Truck Drivers Point of View and the first issue was, “We do not teach young drivers to share the road with trucks”.

    With the years they now spend playing video games, where the more laws you break and the more people you kill, the more points you get, then we let them loose on the road and when they make a mistake in front of a truck and die, we get blamed and the truck driver will see that in his nightmares for the rest of his life and this does not get reported, nor is anything done to reduce these crashes.

    I promote the Truckies Top Ten Tips for Sharing the road in many forums, including a different tip on the back of the TRUCKRIGHT Industry Vehicle b-double each month. What more can be done there?Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey

  • Pat

    Too many gadgets when they don’t pay any attention to the original gadgets (mainly their speedometer) strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.