Driver error leading cause of truck crashes, study says
Drivers of large trucks and other vehicles involved in truck crashes are 10 times more likely to be the cause of the crash than other factors, such as weather, road conditions, and vehicle performance according to a new study released by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
The FMCSA study shows that government and industry must do more to improve driver behavior to prevent accidents involving commercial vehicles, the agency said.
It will conduct analysis to further examine driver factors such as use of prescription and over-the-counter drugs, speeding, fatigue, inattention, distractions, work environment, and unfamiliarity with the road.
The study, conducted with the help of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, investigated a national sample of fatal and injury crashes from April 2001 to December 2003 at 24 sites in 17 states. Each crash involved at least one large truck and resulted in at least one fatality or injury. The total sample of 967 crashes included 1,127 large trucks, 959 non-truck motor vehicles, 251 fatalities, and 1,408 injuries. Action or inaction by the driver of either the truck or other vehicle was the critical reason for 88 percent of the crashes.
In addition to the loss of life and injury, truck crashes are responsible for higher motor carrier insurance costs and result in damaged or delayed shipments for customers.