18-Wheeler Traffic Deaths

18 Wheeler deathsNorth Dakota may have the highest ratio of large-truck-related deaths, but Texas lays claim to the greatest percentage of the nation’s deadly truck accidents overall. The Lone Star State counted 4,607 fatal accidents, 543 of which involved large trucks; that’s 11.8 percent of the state’s total fatal crashes, but 14.3 percent of the total U.S. truck deaths compared with North Dakota’s relatively puny 1.2 percent. Texas leads in this national figure by far, as the only state accounting for a double-digit percentage — more than doubling that of the next closest state, California, with 6.4 percent of the nation’s truck deaths.
The 3,921 traffic deaths involving large trucks in 2012 was a 4 percent increase over 2011, NHTSA reported. Nearly three-quarters of those killed in these incidents were occupants of vehicles, other than the trucks involved, while 18 percent were occupants of large trucks and the balance non-occupants. That represented a 5 percent uptick in the number of occupants of other vehicles and a 9 percent spike in large-truck occupants.

Though way down since 2003, between 2009 and 2012 the number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes rose steadily by more than 18 percent to 3,802. That’s despite the number of registered large trucks shrinking by more than 6 percent to less than 10.3 million from 2009 to 2011, and the total miles traveled by large trucks dropping off by more than 7 percent in that time (2012 figures were not available for truck registrations or mileage). Likewise, the number of injury crashes involving large trucks spiked by more than 42 percent to 77,000 from 2009 to 2012.

The states in which you’re statistically most likely to be killed in an accident with a large truck, followed by the percentage of truck involvement are as follows:

North Dakota, 20.2 percent-Wyoming, 16.8-Nebraska, 14.7-Iowa, 13.2-Oklahoma, 13.1-Texas, 11.8-Arkansas, 11.5-Kansas, 11-Louisiana, 10.7-West Virginia, 10.4-Indiana, 10.3-Minnesota, 10.

The states in which you’re least likely to die in a truck accident are:

Massachusetts, 3.1-Hawaii, 3.4-Rhode Island, 3.4-New Hampshire, 4.1-Connecticut, 4.2
According to NHTSA statistics, large-truck drivers involved in fatal crashes were significantly less likely than passenger-car drivers to have had previous license suspensions or revocations, and dramatically less likely to have been legally drunk. Federal authorities recently took measures to address another contributor to truck crashes: driver fatigue. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration earlier this year released findings from an extensive third-party study showing that new rules increasing the amount of rest truck drivers must have between trips are effective in combating fatigue.

“Scientists measured sleep, reaction time, sleepiness and driving performance in the study,” a DOT statement reported. “They found that drivers who began their work week with just one nighttime period of rest, as opposed to the two nights in the updated 34-hour restart break exhibited more lapses of attention, especially at night; reported greater sleepiness, especially toward the end of their duty periods; and showed increased lane deviation in the morning, afternoon and night.”

The 34-hour restart provision in the hours-of-service rules for truck drivers mandates two nighttime periods from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. to provide sufficient driver-recuperation time if they work more than 70 hours in a week, a figure said to apply to less than 15 percent of drivers. Projections show the rule will prevent 1,400 crashes, 560 injuries and 19 deaths each year.

  1. Doug Williams 4 years ago

    Hi Jerry,

    Being retired, cheap, and in need of a new car (for my wife’s sake), what is your
    take on the 2014 Kia soul ? I noticed you don’t have a Kia dealer on your list .

  2. Margaret Coker 4 years ago

    We are going to start shopping for a replacement for our 2004 Toyota Sequoia. It is loaded and has all the bells and whistles available at the time. We are wanting something similar but probably not another Sequoia due to the poor gas mileage. We do take driving trips with our two grandsons from time to time, mainly from Houston to Colorado but also to Arkansas to camp and to Florida occasionally. We are open to any and all makes of car. Right now we are kind of thinking about the 2015 Tahoe. What else do you suggest that we take a look at?
    Thanks so much,
    PS: What is the best way to sell the Toyota?

    • Jerry 4 years ago

      Good to hear from you! You are right on with the Tahoe, it is a fabulous SUV and will be much more fuel efficient on the highway. This 2015 is really something special. The changes they made were fantastic and the quality is outstanding. Talk to my friends at Classic Chevy in SUGAR LAND, they are wonderful to my listeners, it’ll be the best car buying experience you’ve ever had.

      Give them a chance to trade for the Sequoia, they’ll pay top dollar if it’s clean and there is a very nice sales tax advantage to trading it.

      THANKS for listening to the show!

      Classic Chevrolet Sugar Land
      13115 Southwest Freeway
      (At Highway 90)
      Sugar Land, TX 77478
      Don Kerstetter – Owner

      Mark Kolon – General Sales Mgr.

      Jerry Reynolds “The Car Pro”
      President, Car Pro Radio Networks

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