The number of trucks involved in fatal accidents in 2016 increased 3 percent from 2015’s numbers, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s annual Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts report. The numbers, released last week, are the most up-to-date figures from the agency.
There were 3,864 fatal crashes involving 4,213 large trucks, those weighing more than 10,000 pounds, in 2016, up from 3,622 crashes with 4,074 trucks in 2015, the report states. These crashes resulted in 4,317 fatalities, 722 of which were occupants of the trucks.
Additionally, there were 104,000 crashes involving large trucks that resulted in 145,000 injuries in 2016. That is a significant increase over 2015, which saw 83,000 injury crashes involving trucks resulting in 116,000 injuries.
According to FMCSA, there were approximately 475,000 police-reported crashes with large trucks in 2016, and less than 1 percent were fatal crashes, while 22 percent caused injury.
The report notes that 37 percent of fatal truck-involved crashes and 23 percent of injury crashes occurred at night, between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. Additionally, 84 percent of fatal crashes and 88 percent of non-fatal crashes occurred on weekdays.
The number of trucks involved in fatal crashes pales in comparison to the number of passenger vehicles in fatal crashes in 2016, FMCSA’s report adds. There were 29,813 fatal crashes involving 40,908 passenger vehicles in 2016, resulting in 32,702 fatalities. Additionally, there were more than 2.1 million non-fatal crashes involving more than 3.77 million passenger vehicles resulting in more than 3 million injuries.
Out of the 4,152 truck drivers involved in fatal crashes, 3 percent had a blood alcohol content between 0.01 and 0.08, while 2 percent had a BAC greater than 0.08. In contrast, 20.5 percent of passenger vehicle drivers involved in fatal crashes had a BAC greater than 0.08.
The report also states that 6 percent of truckers involved in fatal crashes in 2016 were 25 years old or younger, and 6 percent were 66 or older.
While FMCSA’s report doesn’t consider fault in the fatal and non-fatal crash numbers, the report states the critical pre-crash event for 73 percent of large trucks in fatal crashes was another vehicle, person, animal or object in the truck’s lane or encroaching into it. Twenty-three percent of large trucks in fatal crashes had critical pre-crash events of their own movement or loss of control.