Analysis Division, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts 2011
This chapter presents information on large trucks involved in fatal, injury,
and property damage only crashes. Some of the data in this chapter come
from the MCMIS Crash File, which contains data on trucks and buses in crashes
that meet the SAFETYNET crash severity thresholds. MCMIS data are used
for the tables on crashes by vehicle configuration (Vehicles Table 1),
cargo body type (Vehicles Table 2), gross vehicle weight rating (Vehicles
Table 3), hazardous materials cargo (Vehicles Table 4), and hazardous materials
released (Vehicles Table 5). SAFETYNET nonfatal crashes tend to be more
serious than GES nonfatal crashes, because the SAFETYNET threshold requires
at least one injury involving immediate medical attention away from the
crash scene, or at least one vehicle disabled as a result of the crash
and transported away from the crash scene. Below is a summary of some of
the vehicle information in this section:
In 2011, 3,608 large trucks were involved in fatal crashes, 63,000 were
involved in injury crashes, and 221,000 were involved in property damage
Hazardous materials (HM) placards were present on 3 percent of the large
trucks involved in fatal crashes and 2 percent of those in nonfatal crashes.
HM was released from the cargo compartments of 12 percent of the placarded
trucks. Flammable liquids (gasoline, fuel oil, etc.) accounted for 69 percent
of the HM releases from cargo compartments in fatal crashes and 45 percent
of the HM releases in nonfatal crashes.
Collision with vehicle in transport was recorded as the most harmful
event for 72 percent of the large trucks involved in fatal crashes.
Singles (truck tractors pulling a single semi-trailer) accounted for 61
percent of the large trucks involved in fatal crashes in 2011; doubles
(tractors pulling two trailers) made up 3 percent of the large trucks involved
in fatal crashes; and triples (tractors pulling three trailers) accounted
for 0.1 percent of all large trucks involved in fatal crashes.
Vehicle-related crash factors were coded for 4 percent of the large trucks
involved in fatal crashes and 3 percent of the passenger vehicles involved
in fatal crashes. Tires was the vehicle-related factor most often coded
for both vehicle types.