Analysis of Firetruck Crashes and Associated Firefighter Injuries in the United States

This paper reports on a study of firetruck safety, stressing that motor vehicle crashes are the second leading cause of death for on-duty firefighters (second only to stress and overexertion). The authors investigate the characteristicis of fatal firetruck crashes and identify the underlying issues that may lead to increased firefighter injury and fatality risk while riding in a fire emergency vehicle. The data is drawn from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Fatality Analysis Recording System (FARS) and General Estimates System (GES) databases for a period of 10 years. Due to the sheer size and mass of fire vehicles, firetruck occupants typically face a very low risk of injury during typical multi-vehicle traffic crashes. However, firefighters often neglect to buckle their seatbelts while traveling in a fire apparatus, thus putting themselves at a high risk for injuries if the truck crashes, especially in rollover crashes. The authors conclude by calling for further steps taken to improve belt use. One solution is to redesign firetruck seatbelts to improve the ease of buckling and to accommodate wider variations in firefighter sizes, particularly when firefighters are wearing their emergency turnout gear.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 69–76
  • Monograph Title: Annals of Advances in Automotive Medicine. 56th Annual Scientific Conference, Seattle, Washington, October 14-17, 2012
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01482976
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 30 2013 2:41PM