Large Trucks

In 2017, 4,657 large trucks were involved in a fatal crash, a 9% increase from 2016 and a 45% increase since 2009. The involvement rate per 100 million large-truck miles traveled is up 5% from 2016 and 40% since 2009. 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:

  • 9% of all vehicles involved in fatal crashes
  • 4% of all registered vehicles
  • 9% of total vehicle miles traveled
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Also in 2017, 107,000 large trucks were involved in crashes resulting in an injury, a 5% increase from 2016. Although the number of trucks involved in injury crashes is trending up since 2009, the exact percent increase is not certain. Starting with the 2016 data year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 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 and 2017 injury estimates are not comparable to previous years.

A total of 4,761 people died in large-truck crashes in 2017. The number of deaths has increased 41% since 2009 (3,380 deaths). The majority of deaths in large-truck crashes are occupants of other vehicles (72%), followed by truck occupants (18%), and non-occupants, primarily pedestrians and bicyclists (10%).

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The number of injuries in large-truck crashes increased 10% in 2017, to 148,000. As with deaths in large-truck crashes, most of the injuries occurred to occupants of other vehicles (71%), followed by truck occupants (27%) and non-occupants (2%).

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*2016 and 2017 injury estimates are not comparable to previous years.

The infographic summarizes several key facts related to fatal crashes involving large trucks in 2017. More than half of fatal large-truck crashes occurred on rural roads and slightly more than a quarter on interstates. Sixty-five percent of the crashes happened during daylight hours, and 5% happened in construction zones. The peak months for fatal truck crashes were September and October, and February had the fewest crashes.

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How to Use Injury Facts® Charts and Tables

Sources:

NSC analysis of NHTSA’s CRSS and 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: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

See data details