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Commercial Truck Fatality Statistics

fatalities among commercial trucksCommercial trucks cover many miles each year, making them more prone to being in an accident. Since almost half of the people that are involved in a crash with a large truck die from the accident, it is important for motorists to be aware of the different trucks that are out on the road.

Although semi-trailers are in more fatal accidents than any other type of commercial truck, they also log many miles per vehicle. When you look at the statistics, per mile many other types of trucks are more likely to cause a fatality.

Truck Fatalities Per Mile

In a survey of over 22,000 trucks involved in fatality accidents, the numbers were broke down by type of truck and miles driven per year. This was done to give a breakdown of the average amount of fatalities per 100 million miles driven. Although semi-trailers were involved in 15,314 fatality accidents over a five-year period, they are actually eighth on the list when you consider the mileage.

  • Dump Trucks. These common truck we see everyday have the highest fatality rate of any type of commercial truck. Per 100 million miles traveled (MMT), these trucks had 5.96 fatalities
  • Garbage Trucks. Sweeper versus garbage trucks actually had more deaths per mile but considering that total for sweepers was only 21 over five years, they are not too big of a concern. Garbage trucks were technically third after sweepers with 5.12 deaths per 100 MMT.
  • Pole/Logging Trucks. These came in fourth in the ranking with 4.86 fatalities crashes per 100 MMT. However, there were only 95 in the survey over 5 years.
  • Cement/Tow Trucks. Number five and six on the list, the cement and tow trucks were almost tied. They averaged 4.28 and 4.25 respectively. However, the tow trucks accounted for 413 fatalities compared to the cement truck’s 279.
  • Tanker Trucks. Slightly higher then the semi’s, tankers came in at 3.71 per 100 MMT.
  • Semi-Trailer Trucks. Accounting for 68% of the fatality accidents in this survey, semi-trailer trucks were at a rate 3.63 per 100 MMT. The sheer numbers they put in accounts for why they are so low, considering many miles are logged on sparse freeways at off-peak times.
  • Van/Flatbed Trucks. The only other trucks worthy of noting were the flatbeds and straight truck vans as they both had over 1,000 fatalities each. Flatbeds came in at 2.45 and the vans were at 2.09 per 100 MMT.

The important thing to take from these rates is that although trucks like semi-trailers are high in fatality rates, there are other types of trucks that cause fatalities at higher rates when you look at mileage. Any commercial truck can cause a fatality accident due to their size and weight, making it good sense to use precaution when you share the road with them.