Large Trucks

In 2019, 5,005 large trucks were involved in a fatal crash, a 2% increase from 2018 and a 43% increase since 2010. The involvement rate per 100 million large-truck miles traveled is up 5% from 2018, and up 37% since 2010. Large trucks are defined as any medium or heavy truck, not including buses and motor homes, with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 10,000 pounds. Both commercial and non-commercial vehicles are included.

Large trucks accounted for:

  • 10% of all vehicles involved in fatal crashes
  • 4% of all registered vehicles
  • 7% of total vehicle miles traveled
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Also in 2019, 118,000 large trucks were involved in crashes resulting in an injury, a 5% increase from 2018. Since 2016 the number of trucks involved in fatal crashes has increased 16% and the involvement rate per 100 million large truck miles driven has increased 11%. Starting with the 2016 data year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began using a new Crash Report Sampling System (CRSS) to estimate the number of nonfatal crashes. CRSS uses a different sampling design than previous estimates and is not directly comparable to earlier data years.

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*2016 – 2019 injury estimates are not comparable to previous years.

A total of 5,005 people died in large-truck crashes in 2019. The number of deaths has increased 36% since 2010 (3,686 deaths). The majority of deaths in large-truck crashes are occupants of other vehicles (71%), followed by truck occupants (18%), and non-occupants, primarily pedestrians and bicyclists (11%).

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The number of injuries in large-truck crashes increased 7% in 2019, to 160,000. As with deaths in large-truck crashes, most of the injuries occurred to occupants of other vehicles (69%), followed by truck occupants (29%) and non-occupants (2%).

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*2016 – 2019 injury estimates are not comparable to previous years.

The infographic summarizes several key facts related to fatal crashes involving large trucks in 2019. More than half of fatal large-truck crashes occurred on rural roads and about a quarter on interstates. Sixty-four percent of the crashes happened during daylight hours, and 6% happened in construction zones. The peak month for fatal truck crashes was September, and February had the fewest crashes.

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How to Use Injury Facts® Charts and Tables

Sources:

National Safety Council analysis of NHTSA’s CRSS and Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data files.

National Center for Statistics and Analysis. (2019, January). Large trucks: 2017 data. (Traffic Safety Facts. Report No. DOT HS 812 663). Washington, DC: NHTSA.

See data details