Commercial Truck and Bus Crashes: Can the National Crash Facts Reduce Them?

The numbers are staggering: 123,918 large trucks and 13,263 Buses involved in crashes in 2008.  More than 73,047 injured in large truck crashes and 16,760 injured in commercial bus crashes. These crash statistics derived from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (see http://www.maryland-law.com/library/tractor-trailer-and-commercial-trucking-safety-resources.cfm  ) and from the Motor Carrier Management Information System, document the wrongful death and destruction on our highways and also suggest ways to reduce crashes in Maryland, the District of Columbia and nationwide.

The United States Department of Transportation employs this information to reduce fatalities on our roadways and you can take a look at it for your state. http://www.ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/CrashProfile/CrashProfileMainNew.asp

The website is user-friendly, with a map  of the United States. Each individual state can be clicked  to reveal its crash information. In Maryland  in 2008, 648 large trucks were involved in injury accidents and 181 buses. The total victims of these crashes were 1,241. The total fatalities from eighteen wheeler, semi and commercial trucks was 52.

In the District of Columbia in 2008 there were few large truck crashes at 4 but there were two resulting fatalities and 5 injuries. Commercial buses appeared to have caused 1 fatality and 2 injuries.

Obviously, there is a considerable disparity between the District of Columbia and Maryland. The District has a very limited amount of highway with the higher speeds that cause so much potential destruction in Maryland.

The utility in the crash statistics lies in the ability to focus on the specifics of individual collisions. A vast amount of information can be seen including weather conditions, the roadway, the first harmful event and the initial impact area.

Interestingly, one can also compare federal crash records with state records and they don't always match. Many of the suggestions promulgated by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration are direct products of the data at this website.