Large Truck Facts and Figures

Compiled by Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways

  1. In 2001, 429,000 large trucks (gross vehicle weight rating greater than 10,000 lbs.) were involved in traffic crashes in the United States: 4,793 were involved in fatal crashes. A total of 5,082 people died (12 percent of all the traffic fatalities reported in 2001) and an additional 131,000 were injured in those crashes.
  2. In 2000, large trucks accounted for 4 percent of all registered vehicles and 7 percent of total vehicle miles traveled (2001 registered vehicle and vehicle miles traveled data not available). In 2001, large trucks accounted for 8 percent of all vehicles involved in fatal crashes and 4 percent of all vehicles involved in injury and property-damage-only crashes.
  3. One out of eight traffic fatalities in 2001 resulted from a collision involving a large trucks.
  4. Of the fatalities that resulted from crashes involving large trucks, 78 percent were occupants of another vehicle, 9 percent were non-occupants, and 14 percent were occupants of a large truck.
  5. Of the injuries that resulted from crashes involving large trucks, 75 percent were occupants of another vehicle, 2 percent were non-occupants, and 23 percent were occupants of a large truck.
  6. Large trucks were much more likely to be involved in a fatal multiple-vehicle crash (as opposed to a fatal single-vehicle crash) than were passenger vehicles (83 percent of all large trucks involved in fatal crashes, compared with 62 percent of all passenger vehicles).
  7. Most of the fatal crashes involving large trucks occurred in rural areas (67 percent), during the daytime (69 percent), and on weekdays (80 percent). During the week, 76 percent of the crashes occurred during the daytime (6:00 AM to 5:59 PM). On weekends, 59 percent occurred at night (6:00 PM to 5:59 AM).
  8. Almost 30 percent of all large truck drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2001 had at least one prior speeding conviction, compared to 20 percent of the passenger car drivers involved in fatal crashes.
  9. According to a 1999 study performed by the FMCSA (Cost of Large Truck- and Bus-Involved Crashes), the average cost per any crash involving a large truck was $75,637. With 429,000 large truck related crashes in 2001, the total monetary expense for 2001 is minimally $32,448,273,000.00 using 1999 cost estimates.
    1. The average cost per large truck crash involving an injury was $217,005.
    2. The average cost per large truck crash involving a fatality was $3.54 million.