Nearly 1000 occupants of large trucks die each year in traffic accidents. Examination of yearly trends shows about a 25% decline in tractor-driver fatalities from 674 in 1984 to 508 in 1987. Over that same period of time, restraint use by tractor drivers involved in fatal accidents increased from 9.6% to 37.3%. The primary factors associated with tractor driver fatalities remain the same as identified in earlier studies. About 80% are single vehicle accidents. Rollover is identified as the most harmful event in 41.4% and frontal impact is the most harmful event in 40.3%. Thirty-four percent of the fatally-injured tractor drivers were ejected and 21.5% required extrication. Fire on the truck was associated with 16.2% of the tractor driver fatalities. The recent TIFA data on restrained truck drivers indicates that restraint use reduces the probability of fatality by 77%. However, this estimate must be tempered by the evidence of over-reporting of restraint use on police accident reports. Information obtained through a review of 186 National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reports on truck driver fatalities in eight states indicated that there was not sufficient occupant survival space in about 65% of the collisions examined. Forty-two percent were judged to be not survivable because of the severity of the impact. Restraint use alone appears sufficient to alter the outcome of only about 27%. Cab structural modifications sufficient to maintain adequate survival space, particularly in rollover, will be required in order to address an additional 23% that appeared survivable.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Sponsored by the Trucking Research Institute, ATA Foundation, Inc., 2200 Mill Road, Alexandria, Virginia 22314-4627.
  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute

    2901 Baxter Road
    Ann Arbor, MI  United States  48109-2150
  • Authors:
    • Campbell, K L
    • Sullivan, K P
  • Publication Date: 1991-11


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 55 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00716846
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: UMTRI-91-28, HS-041 430
  • Files: HSL, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Feb 21 1996 12:00AM