Large trucks [gross vehicle weight > 10,000 lb (4536 kg)] are involved in close to 400,000 police-reported crashes each year, of which 4,500 involve a fatality. About 60% of fatal truck crashes involve one large truck colliding with a single passenger vehicle -- a car, pickup truck, van, or sport utility vehicle. Prevention of these crashes requires understanding how and why these crashes occur to develop effective countermeasures. The analysis of the relative contribution of the truck driver versus the driver of the other vehicle involved in a fatal crash has been limited in the past to an examination of the driver-related factors variable in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA's) Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). The FARS analyst in each State records driver actions that may have contributed to the fatal crash. The coding is based on factors recorded on the crash report by the police officer. NHTSA's "Traffic Safety Facts 1996: Large Trucks" states that in 71% of two-vehicle fatal crashes involving a large truck and another vehicle, police reported "one or more errors or other factors related to the driver's behavior" for the other vehicle driver and none for the truck driver. Analysts have been skeptical of relying solely on the judgments of officers at the scene of a crash to attribute cause or fault in fatal crashes. Thus, the Office of Motor Carrier and Highway Safety (OMCHS), in conjunction with the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), examined the driver-related factors from FARS along with other data that could either verify or rebut the factor data. This Analysis Brief presents the findings of this study.


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: 4 p.
  • Serial:
    • Analysis Brief
    • Publisher: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00763326
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA-MCRT-99-011,, HS-042 973
  • Files: HSL, NTL, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: May 27 2000 12:00AM