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NHTSA report shows truck-crash fatalities increased in 2017



WASHINGTON — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Wednesday that people killed in crashes involving “large” trucks increased 9 percent in 2017 over 2016.

However, that is somewhat misleading to followers of the trucking industry because NHTSA defines “large” trucks as a medium-duty or heavy truck, excluding buses and motor homes, with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 10,000 pounds, including both commercial and noncommercial vehicles.

The information provided by NHTSA was released as part of the “2017 Fatal Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview” during a media teleconference.

Information in the overview came from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), which is a census of fatal crashes in the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, the latter of which was not included in the U.S. totals.

NTHSA also uses the term “heavy” trucks, which includes trucks 26,001 pounds or more.

Such vehicles must obtain USDOT/Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration authority and comply with FMCSA regulations.

Trucks between 10,000 GVWR and 25,999 GVWR that are involved in interstate commerce would also have to obtain USDOT/FMCSA authority.

Although it was part of the report, NHTSA did not release data for “heavy” trucks, but other information provided Wednesday showed the number of trucks with a GVWR of 10,000-14,000 pounds involved in fatal crashes doubled from 2016 to 2017.

The overview released Wednesday showed 4,761 people died in large-truck crashes in 2017 compared with 4,369 in 2016.

NHTSA reported that overall 37,133 motor vehicle traffic fatalities were reported in the U.S. in 2017, down by 673 from the 37,806 traffic fatalities in 2016.

The 1.8 percent decrease from 2016 to 2017 compared to the 6.5 percent increase from 2015 to 2016 and the 8.4 percent increase from 2014 to 2015.

The fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) decreased by 2.5 percent from 1.19 in 2016 to 1.16 in 2017, based on rates provided by the Federal Highway Administration.

Other data involving “large” truck crashes included:

  • Occupants of other vehicles had 280 more fatalities, an 8.8 percent increase from 2016.
  • There were 776 more large-truck occupant fatalities on 2017 over 2016, a 28.5 percent increase.
  • Large-truck occupant fatalities in single-vehicle crashes were up by 40, an 8.7 percent increase from 2016.

NHTSA also released data Wednesday that showed an estimated 17,210 people died in motor vehicle crashes the first half of 2018, a decrease of 3.1 percent compared to the 17,664 fatalities that were reported to have occurred in the first half of 2017.

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  1. Jim

    October 12, 2018 at 1:15 am

    Coincidenc? After implementing ELD’s the accident rates rise?

  2. Judith Tyni

    October 12, 2018 at 3:42 am

    E logs is the reason

  3. SuperDuck

    October 12, 2018 at 4:32 am

    I drive a heavy wrecker and the idiots I pick up for stupid things is on the rise. Mega carriers are churning out these idiots faster than they can wreck all the equipment. Majority of the drivers I deal with can’t even speak English. Stupidity is how I make my living, but the fatality’s are on the rise. Rant over

  4. HemaRoyd

    October 12, 2018 at 7:18 am

    I’m curious to see what the other statistics are. Race, sex, and age. I think that we would not be surprised by some of those stats. By all means though, keep making it more and more unattractive to the drivers who have been doing it for 30+ years. The death tolls will increase I believe.

  5. Bruce Gibbens

    October 12, 2018 at 7:24 am

    I’m sure there are probably several factors involved, but the major problem is letting people that don’t know anything about operating a truck, but THINK they do, make the rules. The 14-hr rule is the biggest problem, followed by the 30 minute break rule. It is totally asinine to not allow a person to extend their day by stopping when they want to.

  6. jimmy

    October 12, 2018 at 9:14 am

    ELDS racing the clock that’s all you do from the time you log in until you stop. Ive been driving for almost 30 years and its worse now than it ever was. A lot of inexperience on the rd plus elds drivers racing to get from one place to another or trying to find a place to park . The elds have made my job a lot harder ever thing you do now effects your day the hos rules need to be redone but that will never happen to many idiots in charge of that it will only get worse.

  7. Terry James

    October 12, 2018 at 10:06 am

    I think the best thing they could do to reduce all this problem is getting rid of all the hours of service as we know it, such as the 34-hour reset the 10-hour continuous break and the half an hour break and make it so you can take your 10 hours in any time limit you want as long as it’s within a 24 hour day. You got so many people cramming into truck stops and trying to race to get there that it’s just nuts and stupid and absolutely uncomfortable for a driver. Now that ELD”s are in just about every truck D.O.T. should be able to easily track our 10-hour breaks no matter what way we take them whether it’s 3 hours here or 3 hours there as long as you get the 10 hours in a 24 hour period. It’s just going to help cut down on the fatigue of a driver, the insane rush to get parked, the over health of the driver and safety of every one on the road.

    There are other factors as stated in other comments that contribute to the upswing of accidents but I think the hour of service BS is a big factor but also the reason a lot of older guys don’t drive anymore and you have now ended up with so many young and inexperienced drivers. The laws of unintended consequences is always discovered after the fact, something to think about.

  8. William Winters

    October 12, 2018 at 7:09 pm

    What I would like to know is how many of those crashes were day cabs flying through traffick like they’re in a Ferrari and under the 100 air miles radius so they don’t have to run under the HOS and they’re companies are requiring them to do 14 to 16 pick ups and deliveries a day. I also think that the HOS for us long haul drivers is in desperate need of updating like the ability to extend your 14 hr clock by logging off duty and changing the requirements for the 30 minute break to allow a driver to split it. I do find it ironic that the increase in accident fatalities seems to coincide with the implementation of the ELD requirement but I have run with and without ELD throughout my carrier as a driver. I spent 2 years as n instructor at a steering wheel holder school and know first hand that they are not much more than a meat grinder. Although I did see some real prospective drivers go through the program. The school did contract training for a specific company and was under pressure to turn out the “drivers” . The real problem in my humble opinion is the lack of education of the general motoring public. Most 4 wheelers are clueless as to how to drive around a big truck. They hang out in your blind spot follow to closely cut in too quickly and do all they can to keep you from getting over when necessary. They expect you to move when you cant so they can merge in front of you and in general drive recklessly and without any regard to safety.

  9. Dave

    October 13, 2018 at 7:52 am

    As usual they bury the part where it says that this report includes ANY truck over 10000 lbs commercial or NON COMMERCIAL…keep making it look like the PROFESSIONAL trucker is the bad guy !!!!!! Most people will not read the whole article and the choice of picture just adds to the same lie !!!!!!

  10. Tom

    October 13, 2018 at 10:30 pm

    WOW where do i start ? I’m gonna go with follow the money. I believe the autonomous truck’s will be pushed and pushed hard ,the sooner they push us older drivers out with the e log and government overreach the sooner they can hire 18 year old drivers. If companies are paying a driver 70 to 80,000 a year that is a cost of 210,000 to 240,000 every 3 years. We cost more than the equipment so they cry driver shortage to get a start on the autonomous trucks and they are pushing to get 18 year old drivers in a truck they don’t have to drive and that will bring the driver wages down. Without a college education you are lucky if you can make 40,000.00 a year depending on where you live it may be more or could be less . That being said that is 30 to 40 grand less for each driver. That is a huge savings to the mega carriers that are destroying our industry. That’s my 2 cents i guess we will find out soon enough. By the way there is not a driver shortage and there never has been, the only shortage the carriers have is a money shortage, pay more and they can hire more if they ever quit cutting each other’s throat the mess would be over.

  11. Mark Gross

    October 17, 2018 at 7:25 am

    Elogs are the stupidest thing that ever happens in the trucking industry

  12. Ken

    October 23, 2018 at 5:50 pm

    Every Truck Going the Same speed Nobody can get out of their “own way” And Passenger Vehicles Will not move over. All these things contribute to accidents. Let My truck go free , Governed at 65 mph sucks.

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Augmented reality game designed to attract next generation of techs



The TMCSuperTech game will be created based on actual tasks inspired by TMCSuperTech events. (Courtesy: DESIGN INTERACTIVE)

ORLANDO, Fla. — Design Interactive, providers of augmented and virtual reality-based fleet maintenance training solutions for the transportation industry, says it is providing a mobile augmented reality game of the Technology & Maintenance Council’s (TMC) National Technician Skills Competition. TMC is a technical council of the American Trucking Associations.

The game is called TMCSuperTech.

“We made the decision to create this game with Design Interactive for two primary reasons,” said Robert Braswell TMC executive director. “To promote awareness of the vocation among middle and high school students who make up the next generation of vehicle maintenance personnel and to help technicians prepare for the TMCSuperTech competition by providing a hands-on training experience for the skills challenges.”

Available on Android and Apple smartphones and tablets, Design Interactive’s gamified TMCSuperTech skills challenge uses AR technology to project a fictional city with a fleet of moving trucks. As the vehicles require service, they are brought into a virtual garage where the game will ask users playing the role of a technician to execute tasks inspired by TMCSuperTech events. Points are awarded for the time trucks are repaired and for the longer they remain in service.

“Augmented reality has already had a significant impact in other industries compared to traditional training methods,” said Matt Johnston, division head of commercial solutions for Design Interactive “For fleets, this technology helps lower labor and parts costs, increase vehicle uptime and shop productivity, and makes it easier to attract new technicians.”

Behind Design Interactive’s TMCSuperTech game experience is its Augmentor transportation focused training solution, which uses augmented reality to more effectively train technicians in the environment where service and repair tasks are performed. Augmentor sources content from fleet experts and ensures training consistency by bringing the best solutions onto the shop floor and enabling access to updated content for all technicians.

“With Augmentor, especially as new technologies continue increasing the complexity of the repairs, tools and skills needed by technicians, fleets can reduce classroom time and training costs,” continued Johnston. “It provides technicians with knowledge in a manner that is effective and productive and leads to higher quality and shorter times for vehicle diagnosis and repair processes.”

TMC is seeking sponsors to help support the adoption of its next-generation-workforce-focused product —TMCSuperTech: The Game. There are four levels of sponsorships available. TMCSuperTech is an annual two-day event organized by TMC’s Professional Technician Development Committee. The premier skills competition for professional commercial vehicle technicians from all segments of the trucking industry will be held September 15-19, 2019, at the Raleigh Convention Center in conjunction with TMC’s Fall Meeting.

For more information on sponsorships email

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North American Commercial Vehicle Show 2019 opens online registration



The NACV Show 2019 will showcase leading truck and trailer manufacturers and commercial vehicle parts and components suppliers and emerging technologies. (Courtesy: NACV)

ATLANTA — The North American Commercial Vehicle Show, a biennial B2B trucking industry event focusing on the needs of fleet owners, managers and decision makers, said Wednesday that online registration is open for the 2019 trade show.

The NACV Show 2019 will take place at the Georgia World Congress Center from October 28-31. NACV Show 2019 exhibition space is predicted to exceed NACV Show 2017 event space by 60 percent.

Fleet industry professionals can register to attend online at Accredited media are eligible for complimentary registration.

“The NACV Show 2019 will showcase leading truck and trailer manufacturers and commercial vehicle parts and components suppliers and emerging technologies, including electric trucks and new innovations in safety, mileage and fleet maintenance,” said Carmen Diaz, show manager for the NACV Show. “Our team has worked tirelessly in developing content, both for the show floor and classroom, as well as interactive experiences to allow us to more than double our 2017 attendance.”

This year’s trade show features many new and enhanced attendee experiences targeting managers of both large and mid-size fleets, Diaz said. New on-floor experiences include a connectivity zone for demonstrating the latest technologies such as telematics, an “Ask the Expert” workshop where industry professionals will share their knowledge and educational programming theater free to all trade show attendees. New fee-based conference programs, featuring industry visionaries, will be held off the trade show floor immediately prior to the opening of NACV Show 2019.

The last day of the trade show will feature fleet operational bench-marking workshops, with more details released closer to the event.

The event’s organizers will publish the entire trade show floor plan and list of exhibitors online in early April.

For more information about exhibiting, contact Bill Fox at or Dawn-Marie Copin at For more information about attending, contact Ashley Olian at

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NTI, WIT urge fleets to participate in WIT index data collection



Throughout NTI’s work on the WIT Index for 2019, NIT officials have emphasized that, as in past years, confidentiality is guaranteed for those carriers participating in the survey. (Courtesy: NIT/WIT)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The National Transportation Institute (NTI) and Women In Trucking (WIT) are again partnering to facilitate the data collection and analysis of the WIT Index.

This annual survey of trucking companies studies the percentage of women working as professional drivers and in management positions within the trucking industry.

With the deadline fast approaching, NTI and WIT together issued a call to action for all fleets to participate in the survey.

“Our collaboration with Women In Trucking on the WIT Index has become a passion project for me and the members of our team at NTI,” said Leah Shaver, chief operating officer of NTI. “We launched the 2019 survey earlier this year, and I would strongly encourage every company that employs truck drivers in our industry to participate in the WIT Index. Opportunities are expanding for women across the industry, and one of the key long-term solutions to the driver shortage will be the further expansion of the employment of women at motor carriers. The response by carriers to the brief list of survey questions is the critical first step in the process of our work with the WIT Index. The data NTI collects from carriers will allow us to measure progress, identify best practices and continue to benchmark standards in our industry.”

NTI began working with the WIT Index in 2016 when Shaver joined the WIT board of directors. Ellen Voie, the President and CEO of WIT, sought to obtain the most detailed and accurate data available in the examination of employment trends for women found in the trucking industry. During each of the years that NTI has managed the survey and analysis aspects of the WIT Index, the participation among companies has grown and the results have shown continued increases in the percentage of women behind the wheel and in trucking management positions.

“We have seen firsthand the increased participation of women in all areas of trucking throughout the 12 years that the Women In Trucking Association has been in existence. Quantifying the growth of women within the workforce of the trucking industry is one of the most important tasks that we have as an association,’’ Voie said. “We are very grateful to be able to call upon the expertise of the National Transportation Institute for the 2019 update to the WIT Index. Once again, this year, NTI is donating its time and services to facilitate the survey, tabulate the results and provide WIT with the kind of trend analysis that helps our association in planning some of our key initiatives. The pro bono work that NTI performs on the WIT Index is a very important and generous contribution to our association and to the industry.”

Shaver is again overseeing all aspects of the data collection and analysis of the WIT Index. Throughout NTI’s work on the WIT Index for 2019, Shaver has emphasized that, as in past years, confidentiality is guaranteed for those carriers participating in the survey.

“The WIT Index allows us to accurately track progress and identify trends and best practices by fleets nationwide. The top issue plaguing every trucking company today is enough people. We’re operating at a historical low unemployment in the U.S., and there are more jobs than workers to fill them,” Shaver said. “There is so much opportunity to gain from recruiting and retaining more women, highlighted by the 2018 WIT Index results which revealed that fewer than eight percent of drivers were women. The 2019 results can be used by participating carriers in efforts to further address the driver shortage and their own strategy. NTI always does a deep dive into the data generated by the WIT Index survey, and that allows us to provide WIT and the participating fleets with the kind of analysis that can promote further growth of opportunities for women within our industry. Women are key to long-term solutions to our workforce shortage, and best practices to recruit and retain are likewise key to carrier success.”

“The WIT Index is a great opportunity for every fleet in our industry to contribute to the story of the continued growth taking place for women working in trucking,” Voie said. “I really look forward to this process. It’s an opportunity to accurately measure where the number of women involved in our industry stands. I see this time of year as an important call to action, and I would like to see every carrier in the nation participate in the WIT Index.”

The 2019 WIT Index Survey will run through April 8, 2019. The survey can be accessed through the following link:

The National Transportation Institute was founded in 1995 with a goal of providing accurate and authoritative mission-critical benchmarks to truckload carriers on company driver and owner-operator compensation history and changes.

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