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Fatalities in Crashes Involving Large Trucks Increased by Just Under 1% from 2017 to 2018

Posted - October 23, 2019
Fatalities in crashes involving large trucks increased by just under 1% from 2017 to 2018, to 4,951 from 4,905, according to statistics released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
    There were 3,863 fatalities in crashes involving large trucks in 2016, according to amended final statistics compiled by NHTSA.
      Overall, 36,560 people were killed in traffic crashes on U.S. roadways during 2018, a 2.4% decrease from 37,473 in 2017, which came after a 0.9% decrease from 2016 to 2017, said the NHTSA report, “2018 Fatal Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview,” made public Oct. 22.
        “This is encouraging news, but still far too many perished or were injured, and nearly all crashes are preventable, so much more work remains to be done to make America’s roads safer for everyone,” Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said in a statement.
          Fatalities decreased from 2017 to 2018 in almost all segments of the population, with the exception of fatalities in crashes involving large trucks and nonoccupant fatalities (pedestrians and pedal cyclists).
            The report also showed:
              • Overall large-truck occupant fatalities rose to 885 in 2018 from 878 in 2017, a 0.8% increase. The 2018 number of large-truck occupant fatalities is the highest since 1988, when the agency reported 911 occupant fatalities.
                • Pedestrians killed in crashes involving large trucks increased by 13%.
                  • Large-truck occupant fatalities in single-vehicle crashes increased to 535 from 525 (1.9% increase from 2017.
                    • Large-truck occupant fatalities in multiple-vehicle crashes decreased to 350 from 353 (0.8%).
                      • Occupant fatalities in other vehicles decreased to 3,525 from 3,534 (0.3%).
                        • The number of alcohol-impaired drivers involved in fatal crashes decreased to 146 from 148 (1.4%).
                          The report said that overall vehicle miles traveled based on early traffic volume trends increased by 0.3% from 2017 to 2018. However, the fatality rate per 100 million VMT decreased to 1.13 in 2018 from 1.17 the year before (3.4%), the report said.
                            “Over the past 40 years there has been a general downward trend in traffic fatalities,” the report said. “Safety programs such as those increasing seat belt use and reducing impaired driving have substantially lowered the traffic fatalities. Vehicle improvements such as air bags and electronic stability control have also contributed greatly to the reduction of traffic deaths.”
                              The report also said that partnerships with states on highway safety issues support a range of activities that have saved lives over the years.