Each year, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) releases updated statistics on commercial truck and bus accidents in the United States. It recently published its most up-to-date data in the 2017 Pocket Guide to Large Truck and Bus Statistics.
Here are some of the most noteworthy figures from the FMCSA’s 2017 Pocket Guide:
1. Truckers Drive Twice as Many Miles as Other Motorists
According to the latest data from the FMCSA, there were nearly 264 million registered vehicles on the road in 2015. Of these, slightly more than 11 million (or 4.2 percent) were commercial trucks. However, commercial trucks accounted for 9 percent of all miles driven on U.S. roads in 2015.
2. Commercial Truck Driver Numbers are Growing Significantly
In 2012, there were approximately 4.3 million truck drivers subject to the FMCSA’s jurisdiction. In 2016 this figure swelled to 6.3 million. At the same time, the number of active carriers (trucking companies) authorized by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has declined. This means that more drivers are working for less companies as vehicle miles are increasing.
3. Some of the Nation’s Busiest Trucking Routes are in Texas
It should come as no surprise that several of the nation’s busiest trucking routes are in Texas. According to the FMCSA, Interstates 10, 20, 35 and 37 are all heavily trafficked by commercial trucks, as are the beltways around Houston and Texas’s other major cities. Overall, trucking is responsible for moving 64 percent of the nation’s freight, far surpassing all other modes of transportation.
4. Speeding and Exceeding Hour Limits are Among the Most-Frequent Trucking Violations
According to the FMCSA, speeding is the third-leading violation cited during roadside commercial truck inspections, and exceeding the 8-hour driving limit without a 30-minute break comes in sixth. However, failure to keep current driver logs is the second most common violation, so the true number of hour violations could be significantly higher. Other common violations include:
- Exceeding the 14-hour duty period for commercial truck drivers
- Failing to obey traffic signals
- Operating without a commercial driver’s license
- Using a handheld phone while driving
- Inadequate lighting and other truck defects
5. Commercial Truck Accidents are on the Rise
With the above statistics in mind, it is easy to see why commercial truck accidents are on the rise. The total number of crashes, the number of crashes involving injuries and the number of crashes involving fatalities have all increased in recent years – after dropping to historic lows in 2010. Despite coming in second in terms of total vehicle miles traveled, Texas has had far more truck accident fatalities in recent years than any other state in the country.
Speak with a Houston 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyer for Free
If you or a loved one has been injured in a commercial truck accident in Texas, the attorneys at Morrow & Sheppard LLP can help. To learn about your rights in a free and confidential consultation, call (800) 489-2216 or request an appointment online today.