Statistics: Fatal Truck Accidents in the U.S.

The Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts (LTBCF) report contains detailed statistics on fatal crashes that involved large trucks and buses. To compile their data, the LTBCF uses four major sources from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA’s) Analysis Division. These sources are:

  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA’s) Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS)
  • NHTSA’s General Estimates System (GES)
  • FMCSA’s Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS) Crash File
  • The Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA’s) Highway Statistics.

As of this writing, the most recently available LTBCF report is from 2015. Data regarding fatal accidents involving large trucks and buses are as follows:

  • 4,311 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes. This was an 8% increase from 2014.
  • The number of fatal accidents in 2015 is actually 18% lower than the 21st-century peak of 5,231 fatal accidents that occurred in 2005.
  • A 34% decrease in the number of fatal crashes involving large trucks or buses happened between 2005 and 2009. This was followed by a 20% increase between 2009 and 2015.
  • The number of injury crashes involving large trucks or buses decreased steadily from 89,000 in 2005 to 60,000 in 2009. This was a 33% decline. However, this decline was immediately followed by a 62% increase from 2009 to 2015.
  • Of the large trucks involved in fatal crashes, 3% were carrying hazardous materials.
  • Flammable liquids like gasoline, fuel, and oil accounted for 67% of the hazardous materials released from cargo compartments in fatal crashes.
  • “Collision with vehicle in transport” was reported as the most harmful event for 75% of large trucks involved in fatal crashes.
  • Truck tractors pulling a single semi-trailer accounted for 65% of fatal accidents involving large trucks in 2015.
  • Tractors pulling two trailers made up 3% of the large trucks involved in fatal crashes.
  • Tractors with three trailers accounted for 0.1% of fatal collisions involving large trucks.

Want to learn more about fatal accidents involving large trucks? Contact our Kansas City truck accident attorney to find out more information.


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