Home Why is DOT Changing the Rules? History and Background Truck Safety Facts
  • Since the current hours of service rules went into effect (2003 – 2009).[1]
    • Truck-involved fatalities have dropped by 33%
    • Truck-involved injuries have dropped by 39%
  • Over the past decade (from 2000 to 2009) [2]
    • The number of truck-involved fatalities has fallen by 36%
    • The number of truck-involved injuries has fallen by 47%.
    • These accomplishments have outpaced improvements made by all vehicles.
    • Trucks have an overall crash rate less than half that of other vehicles. [3]
  • Driver fatigue (e.g., drowsy, sleepy, asleep, fatigued) was cited as a factor in only 2% of fatal truck crashes.[10] However, both FMCSA and ATA have acknowledged that the role of fatigue in truck crashes is likely under-reported to a degree. Accordingly, after reviewing other factors, FMCSA has historically stated that 7% is a more accurate estimate.[4]
  • A 2006 Virginia Tech analysis of two studies conducted for the Department of Transportation found that 78 percent of critical incidents between trucks and passenger vehicles were initiated by passenger vehicle drivers.[5]
  • In 80% of fatal crashes involving a rear-end collision between a large truck and a passenger vehicle, the passenger vehicle rear-ended the truck.[6]
  • In 85%of fatal head-on collisions between large trucks and passenger vehicles, the passenger vehicle crossed the center median into the truck’s lane of travel.[7]

[1] Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts 2009: Table 4

[2] NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts 2009 Data Large Trucks

[3] Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts 2009: Table 4

[9] NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts 2009 Data Large Trucks

[10] Trucks in Fatal Accidents Factbook 2008, Center for National Truck and Bus Statistics, University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, page 49.

[4] 73 Federal Register, pg 69578.

[5] Hanowski, R.J., Hickman, J.S., Wierwille, W.W., Keisler, A., June 2006. A Descriptive Analysis of Light Vehicle-Heavy Vehicle Interactions using in situ Driving Data. Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, Blacksburg, Virginia.

[6] Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts 2009: Table 55

[7] Ibid.