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.
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.