What does the latest government report show about bus and tractor trailer and eighteen wheeler crashes?

Every year the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration undertakes a study of data concerning commercial bus and trucking accidents and the first information from 2008 is trickling out. http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/facts-research/art-analysis_Large-Truck-and-Bus-Crash-Facts-2008.aspx

The study is quite comprehensive even in this initial release. The four major categories concern vehicles, people, crashes and trends. In this article we will examine people.

Three sub-categories focus data on car crashes, bus crashes and truck crashes. In turn deadly crashes are examined with regard to gender, age, crash severity and violations which led to the crash.

In 2008, 4,229 people were killed and more than 90.000 injured in crashes with large trucks. While 13.7% of the wrongful deaths were the actual tractor trailer and commercial truck drivers, the overwhelming majority of victims were in vehicles struck by the trucks at a rate of almost 75%.

Interestingly the rate of injury for eighteen wheeler drivers was higher at over 21% of total injuries. 7.5% of those killed by commercial trucks were pedestrians and 1.6% were bicyclists.

Overall more miles are being driven every rear by commercial bus and trucks and less fatalities are occurring. In 2007 4,822 fatalities involved large trucks and tractor trailers. In 2008 4,229 deaths occurred, the lowest total since 1975.

A fascinating fact is that deaths per million miles driven has plunged from a rate of 6 in 1977 to 2.12 in 2008. This means that as trucks drive more and more their overall safety has increased dramatically.

Men are approximately three times more likely to die in commercial truck collisions probably due to the fact that many more truck drivers are men. Despite this men are only one and a half times more likely to be injured than women.

Women who die in truck accidents tend to be younger than men and overall older people are rarely involved.

Tomorrow we will focus on the vehicles involved.