The top causes of most fatal large truck crashes – speeding still leads the list

In October 2013 a  new report from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) says speeding remains the largest contributing factor in fatal crashes involving drivers of large trucks.

The second highest contributing factor is distraction or inattention. Impairment, including driving fatigued or after consuming drugs or alcohol, ranked third.

The agency’s 2011 report was based on an extensive analysis of data gathered in 2011 by the FMCSA.

In the agency’s 2010 report on contributing factors in fatal crashes of large trucks, speeding and distraction/inattention also were the first and second highest factor.

One or more driver-related factors were recorded for 56 percent of the drivers of large trucks involved in single-vehicle fatal crashes and for 29 percent of the drivers of large trucks involved in multiple-vehicle fatal crashes. In comparison, at least one driver-related factor was recorded for 76 percent of the drivers of passenger vehicles (cars, vans, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles) involved in single-vehicle crashes and 52 percent of the passenger vehicle drivers in multiple-vehicle crashes.

Speeding was the most often coded driver-related factor for both vehicle types; distraction/inattention was the second most common for large truck drivers, and impairment (fatigue, alcohol, drugs, illness) was the second most common for passenger vehicle drivers.

And the vast majority of fatal crashes (85 percent) and nonfatal crashes (89 percent) involving large trucks occurred on weekdays (Monday through Friday).

In contrast, Vehicle-related crash factors were coded for 4 percent of the large trucks involved in fatal crashes and 3 percent of the passenger vehicles involved in fatal crashes. Tires was the vehicle-related factor most often coded for both vehicle types.

In 2011, 3,608 large trucks were involved in fatal crashes, 63,000 were involved in injury crashes, and 221,000 were involved in property damage only crashes.

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