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2011 truck fatals highest number since 2008, FMCSA data shows

The agency said 11.9 percent of the drivers of large trucks in fatal crashes were distracted while driving with the majority of those distraction/inattention causes unknown.

The Trucker News Services

11/1/2013

WASHINGTON — Both the number of fatalities and the number of fatal accidents involving large trucks in 2011 reached the highest levels since 2008, according to data released by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

The agency said 3,757 persons died in large truck fatalities in 2011 compared with 3,686 in 2010 and 3,380 in 2009.

A total of 4,245 died in large truck fatalities in 2008.

There were 3,341 large truck fatal accidents in 2011, compared with 3,271 in 2010 and 2,983 in 2009.

There were 3,754 large truck accidents involving fatalities in 2008.

The agency said 635 occupants of large trucks died in accidents compared with 530 last year.

Despite the increase, the number of fatalities continued to remain significantly below the 5,000-plus range of the 1994-2006 timeframe.

The vehicles miles traveled by large trucks continued to decline in 2011 to 267,207,000, a decline of almost 20 million miles from 2011.

Fatalities in large truck crashes per million miles travelled in 2011 were 1.41, compared to 1.29 last year.

The agency said there were 10,270,000 large trucks registered in 2011, a drop of 500,000 from 2010.

The agency said 2.5 percent of drivers involved in fatal accidents had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of more than 0.01 and 1.2 percent had a BAC of more than 0.08, which indicates intoxication.

As for speed, the largest percentage of single large truck vehicle crashes was 27.2 percent in the posted speed limit of 50-55. The same was true for multiple vehicle accidents at 40.4 percent.

The agency said 11.9 percent of the drivers of large trucks in fatal crashes were distracted while driving with the majority of those distraction/inattention causes unknown.

Some 0.9 percent were involved with a cell phone in some manner when the crash occurred.

Authorities reported that 5.2 percent of drivers involved in single truck accidents were asleep or fatigued while of the total 3,586 drivers involved in crashes, only 1.8 percent were reported asleep or fatigued.

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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