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What statistics show about trucking fatalities across the country

Tampa residents are probably used to sharing the roads with large commercial trucks such as tractor-trailers. These vehicle move two-thirds of the freight across the United States with nearly 11 million trucks traveling the road each year. Despite this large number of trucks, they only make up 4.7 percent of all vehicles in the country - but 12.4 percent of all fatal vehicular accidents. The fatality rate for truck accidents is 17 percent higher than the fatality rate for passenger vehicles.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is the agency charged with helping to reduce the number of commercial motor vehicle accidents in every state, including Florida. The FMCSA recently noted that the rates of truck accidents and fatalities have started to rise after several years of declines. The most recent data for truck-related accidents is from 2011 and shows a total of 3,757 people killed and 800,000 people suffering serious injuries from commercial vehicle accidents.

Looking further, the death rate in accidents associated with trucks climbed across all categories. For example, there was a 21-percent increase in fatalities among truck occupants involved in multiple-vehicle accidents. This makes a 40-percent increase in these deaths since 2009. FMCSA experts say people are now three times as likely to die in truck crashes than to die in boating, aviation and railroad accidents combined. Of particular concern is driver fatigue; in the last few years, several accidents with multiple fatalities have involved drivers who did not have enough sleep.

Unfortunately, people in passenger vehicles are more likely to die in truck crashes than truck occupants in any collision - in fact, they are five times more likely to be killed. For accidents involving one passenger vehicle and one truck, 97 percent of those killed were in passenger vehicles. Despite common belief, fatal truck accidents are actually more common on minor roads than on freeways and interstate highways.

Source: Justice.org "Truck Safety Alert: The Rising Danger from Trucks and How to Stop It," Accessed Aug. 19, 2014

Source: Justice.org "Truck Safety Alert: The Rising Danger from Trucks and How to Stop It," Accessed Aug. 19, 2014

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