New Report Reveals Large Truck Crash Deaths Expected to Increase AGAIN
Washington D.C. – The United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) expects highway fatalities involving large trucks to once again increase for 2019.
On Monday, the NHTSA released preliminary estimates for the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) 2019.
FARS is a census of fatal traffic crashes in the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
While early estimates reveal overall highway crash deaths are expected to decline in most major traffic safety categories for 2019, large truck-involved deaths are once again expected to rise.
According to the NHTSA, fatalities in crashes involving at least one large truck are projected to increase slightly by 1%.
FARS counts or estimates any large truck (gross vehicle weight rating > 10,000 lbs.) on a public highway involved in crashes, including large pickup trucks.
In October of last year, the trucking industry was rocked by NHTSA’s 2018 report which revealed trucker crash 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.
Additionally, another 3,525 motorists and 541 pedestrians and pedalcyclists were killed in large truck-involved accidents.
Industry stakeholders immediately attempted to put these troubling numbers in context based on their legislative and regulatory agendas.
Some groups pointed to the electronic logging devices (ELD) mandate as the culprit for the increase, which proponents argued would save lives.
In contrast, other groups such as the Trucking Alliance once again called on legislators to mandate speed limiters and require all commercial trucks be equipped with ELDs.
Overall Highway Fatalities Decreasing
A statistical projection of traffic fatalities for 2019 shows that an estimated 36,120 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes.
This represents an estimated decrease of about 440 (down 1.2%) from the reported 36,560 fatalities in 2018, even though Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) increased by 0.9%.
As a result, the fatality rate for 2019 was 1.10 fatalities per 100 million VMT, down from 1.13 fatalities per 100 million VMT in 2018.
If these estimates are reflected in the final data, the fatality rate per 100 million VMT would be the second lowest since NHTSA started recording fatal crash data.
Read NTHSA’s report HERE.