Insurance Institute Tracks Truck Accidents Noting that one in 10 highway deaths occur in a crash involving a large truck, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety compiles extensive information on truck accidents. Check here for the latest statistics, status reports and other resources. Coalition Dedicated to Improving Car-Truck Safety The Truck Safety Coalition is dedicated to reducing the number of deaths and injuries caused by truck-related crashes, providing support to truck crash survivors and their families, and educating the public, policy-makers and media about truck safety issues. What is your Road Safe IQ? Road Safe America believes a truck driver has as much responsibility as a commercial airline pilot. Their mission is to make highways safer. Take their informative quiz and test your road safe IQ.
By the numbers/ 3,757 Killed - In 2011, 3,757 people died in collisions with trucks, an 11.2 percent increase over 2009. There were 88,000 injuries reported during the same period. Source: Commercial Motor Vehicle Facts, March 2013, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (download) Only $750,000 - Motor carriers are only required to maintain $750,000 in insurance per crash. Yet, damages from a fatal crash can exceed $4 million, leaving injured motorists and taxpayers to pay the difference. Source: Study Shows Trucking Companies Underinsured,Trucking Alliance 98 Percent - Ninety-eight percent of vehicle occupants killed in crashes involving a passenger vehicle and a large truck in 2011 were occupants of the passenger vehicles. Source: Large Trucks Fatality Facts, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
After reaching an historic low in 2009, deaths and injuries from truck accidents are on the rise. Why the turn for the worse? According to a startling report from the American Association for Justice, lax practices are forcing a growing number of unsafe trucks on the road that are often driven by overworked, underpaid and poorly trained drivers. Meanwhile, outdated insurance laws fail to provide adequate coverage for those involved in a car-truck accident. Since trucks move nearly 70 percent of our nation's freight,you should know the facts and what is being done to better protect all Americans. Commonsense Measures Can Help Prevent More Accidents When a 76-year-old truck driver fell asleep at the wheel on an Oklahoma interstate and slammed his 40,000-pound rig into several cars that had slowed for a minor collision, 10 people were killed, including two families of four. The truck driver had started his shift at 3 a.m. with just five hours of sleep and had been driving for 10 hours when the accident happened. He never touched the brakes. Unfortunately, preventable truck-car accidents like this are on the rise. In 2011 (the most recent year complete data are available), 3,757 people died in collisions with trucks and 88,000 more were injured. It marked the second straight year fatalities were up and was an 11.2 percent increase over 2009. Report Details Safety Hazards that Cause Truck Accidents A report released in June by the American Association for Justice uncovers a number of preventable safety hazards that contribute to truck accidents. According to the Truck Safety Alert: The Rising Danger from Trucks, the problems are driven by an economic model that is fundamentally unsound. "Truck drivers - compensated by miles driven, not hours worked - are pushed to ignore safety measures, delay repairs and drive in a fatigued state," it said. In addition, the report notes that artificially low insurance limits prevent unsafe trucking carriers from ever being held accountable for the damages they cause. While a fatal truck crash today can result in approximately $4.3 million in damages, the insurance minimum for cargo trucks has remained frozen at $750,000 since 1980. U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania recently introduced the Safe Haul Act (H.R. 2730) to raise the required insurance minimum for motor carriers. Given that the percentage of freight traveling by truck is expected to reach 70 percent in the next decade, it is highly likely that more trucks will share the roadways with passenger cars. Thus, the report ends with this dire warning: If the current growth in the fatality rate for truck accidents continues, 58,000 people will lose their lives in the next 10 years. Tips for Avoiding Car-Truck Accidents