About the Trucking IndustryThere is an estimated 11 million large trucks registered in the United States, a number that has increased steadily the past couple of years. Large trucks, which include both single-unit vehicles and tractor trailers travel more than 275,000 million miles each year. Just how many miles is that? That is the equivalent of traveling to the sun and back 1,500 times.
At the time of this post, trucks continue to be the main mode of transportation for freight in the United States, responsible for transporting nearly 15 billion tons of cargo each year. This equates to about 73 percent of all cargo weight transported. Trucking companies, warehouses and the private sector employ an estimated 8.9 million in trucking-related positions, 3.5 million of which are truck drivers. Of the 15.5 million trucks operating in the United States, roughly 2 million are tractor trailers. In terms of volume of goods transported by the trucking industry, trucks account for $8.3 trillion worth of manufactured and retail goods transported in the United States, this according to the latest Commodity Flow Survey.
Truck Accident StatisticsMost estimates show about 41,000 to 45,000 traffic deaths, 15% of which are walkers and bikers. Less than 9% of these deaths involve commercial vehicles. More than 80% of these accidents are the fault of the non-commercial driver. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, in 2015 4,311 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes, an 8% increase from 2014. The number of large trucks and buses involved in fatal crashes has increased by 26% from the 3,432 accidents in 2009.
- The number of injury crashes involving large trucks or buses decreased steadily from 89,000 in 2005 to 60,000 in 2009 (a decline of 33 percent). This decline was followed by an increase of 62 percent from 2009 to 2015.
- On average, from 2005 to 2015, intercity buses accounted for 13 percent, and school buses and transit buses accounted for 41 percent and 33 percent, respectively, of all buses involved in fatal crashes.
Changes between 2014 and 2015
- The number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes increased by 8 percent, from 3,749 to 4,050. This would coincide with the large truck involvement rate (large trucks involved in fatal crashes per 100 million miles traveled by large trucks) which also increased by 8 percent, from 1.34 to 1.45.
- The number of large trucks involved in injury crashes decreased by 1 percent, from 88,000 to 87,000, and the large truck involvement rate in injury crashes decreased by 2 percent.
- The number of large trucks involved in property damage only crashes decreased by 1 percent, from 346,000 to 342,000, and the large truck involvement rate in property damage only crashes decreased by 2 percent.
- The number of buses involved in fatal crashes increased from 236 to 261, an increase of 11 percent, and the bus involvement rate in fatal crashes increased by 9 percent.
- Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) by large trucks increased by 0.3 percent, and bus VMT increased by 1.4 percent.
Causes of Truck AccidentsWhat percentage of problems occur on the road?
- 51.3% – Tires
- 7.6% – Jump or Pull start
- 3.5% – Air Line or hose
- 4.7% – Alternator
- 4.1% – Wiring
- 3.9% – Fuel Filter R/R
- 3.7% – Fuel
- 2.4% – Brake
- <1% – All others