This report is a statistical study of accidents involving large trucks, based primarily on police reported data from several states supplemented by carrier reports submitted to the Bureau of Motor Carrier Safety. Accident data from Turnpikes was complemented by traffic flow information furnished by the turnpike authorities, thus allowing computation of accident experience relative to exposure. By several measures, accident severity is greater when trucks are involved than when cars only are involved in a collision. The average number of fatalities for the former category is approximately that of the latter. The relative severity of truck accidents is even greater when the consequences to passenger car occupants alone are considered. The number of fatalities per passenger car in a collision with a truck is nearly ten time greater than for a collision with another car. The turnpike accident files, which permit exposure computations to be made, give involvement rates (in terms of accidents per mile of travel) which are approximately the same for cars and trucks. A new measure of exposure, which incorporates parameters concerning the travel characteristics of both cars and trucks, was developed to investigate the relative probability of various accident configurations. By this measure, trucks on turnpikes are involved as the striking vehicle (in rear-end collisions) more than twice as often as expected. Although mass accident data seldom provides much detail about causative factors, two such factors do stand out in the data available for this study. These are the frequency with which truck drivers are reported to be fatigued or asleep, and the frequency of vehicle defects. Both of these notations occur frequently enough to be considered problems requiring action. /NHTSA/

  • Corporate Authors:

    Highway Safety Research Institute

    Huron Parkway and Baxter Road
    Ann Arbor, MI  United States  48109
  • Authors:
    • Scott, R E
    • O'Day, J
  • Publication Date: 1971-12

Media Info

  • Features: Tables;
  • Pagination: 147 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00263367
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Highway Safety Research Institute
  • Report/Paper Numbers: DOT/HS-800 627 Final Rpt.
  • Contract Numbers: FH-11-7614
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 13 1974 12:00AM