This paper discusses the highway safety problems presented by large trucks. Heavy trucks are overrepresented in fatal motor vehicle crashes even when mileage is taken into account. When these trucks collide with passenger cars, most of the fatalities occur to the car occupants. It is also true that a larger proportion of heavy truck crashes are single vehicle accidents. A look at driver qualification and driver monitoring reveals many inadequacies. Current legislation authorizes longer and wider trucks, but no provisions have been made to enforce their use only on designated routes. There is also a need for an interstate identification file of drivers of large trucks. This paper concludes that the federal government is the only authority that can assume the necessary leadership. However, the federal government has abnegated its responsibility in this area, while making plans for launching even larger and heavier vehicles nationwide. It is concluded that it is past time to bring about some better balance between commerce considerations and public health and safety in heavy truck transportation.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Presented at the National Highway Safety Symposium "Emerging Issues in Highway Safety," Williamsburg, Virginia, February 28-March 1, 1984.
  • Corporate Authors:

    University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

    Highway Safety Research Center
    Chapel Hill, NC  United States  27599

    Department of Transportation

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Waller, P F
  • Publication Date: 1984

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: 8 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00452021
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HSRC-A98, HS-039 201
  • Files: HSL, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 31 1986 12:00AM