TORONTO, Ont. — During a webinar today titled, “2014 Large Truck and Bus Crash Overview Facts” representatives from the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration explained to attendees its research findings on commercial vehicle accident trends in 2014.
In total, in the US in 2014, there were 32,675 fatalities in motor vehicle crashes, and 13% of those crashes (4,161) involved a large truck or bus. This number is a decrease of 3% from 2013, when 4,278 persons were killed in a crash involving a large truck or bus.
The FMCSA said close to half of these fatal truck and bus crashes happened in ten states: Texas, California, Florida, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Ohio, North Carolina, Illinois, Oklahoma and Indiana. A majority of the crashes occurred in Texas more than any other state. In 2014, 553 fatal truck and bus crashes happened in Texas.
The webinar also looked at restraint trends – or seatbelt trends – of commercial vehicle drivers. Overall, the webinar explained that data collected in the Seat Belt Usage by Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers Survey shows overall safety belt use for drivers has steadily increased each year the survey was administered. In 2007, when the survey was in its first year, only 65% of commercial drivers reported wearing a seatbelt. In 2014, however, this number increased significantly to 84%. The data also pointed out that those commercial drivers on the West coast were more likely to wear a seat belt, than their counterpoints in the east. Ninety-one per cent of drivers on the West Coast reported wearing a seat belt, while just 76% in the Northeast reported the same.
The FMCSA pointed out that 9.1% of large truck drivers involved in fatal crashes were not wearing any type of safety restraint – the first percentage increase (0.1%) it has seen in several years.