FMCSA to Study Why Trucker Crash Deaths are Rising, Wants Input
Washington, D.C. – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced on Tuesday the Agency is seeking input on how best to determine why large truck-involved crashes are on the rise.
In a Request for Information (RFI) notice, the Agency says its intent is to gather information from “the public, academics, experts, and industry” to help it best develop a Large Truck Crash Causal Factors Study (LTCCFS).
FMCSA says the purpose of the study is to:
1. Evaluate crashes involving large trucks and identify emerging trends;
2. Monitor crash trends and identify causes and contributing factors;
3. Develop effective safety improvement policies and programs.
It’s been more than 15 years since the Agency last conducted its Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS) from 2001 to 2003.
The Agency says that since that time “many changes in technology, vehicle safety, driver behavior and roadway design have occurred that effect how a driver performs.”
Specifically, FMCSA points to the “dramatic increase in distraction caused by cell phones and texting, the level of driver restraint use, the advent of in-cab navigation and fleet management systems, as well as equipment designed to enhance safety, such as automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems,” as factors that need to be considered in a new study.
Fatal Crashes On The Rise
Since the LTCCS ended in 2003, fatal crashes involving large trucks decreased until 2009, when they hit their lowest point in recent years (2,893 fatal crashes).
However, since 2009, fatal crashes involving large trucks have steadily increased to 4,415 fatal crashes in 2018, a 52.6 percent increase when compared to 2009.
Over the last three years (2016-2018), fatal crashes involving large trucks increased 5.7 percent.
In October of 2019, a report released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rocked the trucking industry.
The NHTSA released its highway crash fatality data for 2018, and while overall fatalities declined by 2.4%, large truck occupant deaths rose to a 30-year high.
NHTSA reported a total of 885 large truck occupants perished in crashes in 2018.
That number marks the most since 1988, when 911 died.
FMCSA says a new study will help “identify factors that are contributing to the growth in fatal large truck crashes, and in both injury and property damage only (PDO) crashes.”
The Agency says it hopes to gain the insight needed to effectively “drive new initiatives to reduce crashes on our nations roadways.”
How To Comment
To submit your comment, click HERE and enter the docket number, “FMCSA-2019-0277” in the “Keyword” box, and click “Search.”
When the new screen appears, click on “Comment Now!” button and type your comment into the text box in the following screen.
The public comment period will end on March 13, 2020.