Each year, various divisions work together to bring crash data for large trucks and buses. In 2014, a few of these organizations included the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (a census of fatal crashes involving motor vehicles travelling on public traffic ways), the General Estimates System (a probability-based nationally representative sample of police-reported fatal, injury, and property damage only crashes), the Motor Carrier Management Information System Crash File (containing data on trucks and buses in crashes), and Highway Statistics (where state agencies report the data, ranging from driver licensing to highway finance).
You may be surprised to hear some of the common statistics relating to large truck and bus crashes. Here are just a few from 2014:
- In 2014, 3,978 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes, which was actually a 5% decrease from 2013.
- From 2004 to 2014, intercity buses accounted for 13% and school buses accounted for 41% of all buses involved in fatal crashes.
- Out of nearly 411,000 police-reported crashes involving large trucks in 2014, 1% resulted in at least one fatality and 82,000 resulted in at least one nonfatal injury.
- Approximately 61% of all fatal crashes involving large trucks occurred on rural roads and 26% on rural or urban Interstate highways.
- In the year 2014, 30% of work zone crashes ending in a fatality involved at least one large truck.
- In 73% of large truck accidents, “Collision with vehicle in transport” was recorded as the most harmful event.
- Out of 3,697 drivers of large trucks in fatal crashes, 202 were 25 years of age or younger and 216 were 66 years of age or older.
- For those involved in large truck fatal crashes, about 2% were female, compared to 30% of all drivers of buses.
Why Do These Accidents Occur?
Here are some of the most common reasons why large truck accidents occur:
- Fatigue: Truck drivers will sometimes drive thousands of miles in only a couple of days. They may feel an incentive to drive more because it makes them more money. As a result, federal regulations have been put into play to limit the number of hours a truck driver can drive in one day to attempt to prevent fatigue.
- Improper Maintenance: Large trucks must be kept in good condition when operated. If not, they could cause accidents, which is why regulations are in place for periodic maintenance.
- Distracted Driving: Truck drivers are susceptible to distracted driving because of the long hours that they put in at work and their need to entertain themselves. Truck drivers are also prohibited from using cell phones when they are driving.
- Driver Inexperience: Trucking companies will sometimes pay for new drivers to complete courses and then quickly put them behind the wheel of a truck. This could cause them to become involved in accidents that senior drivers may not be.
Here are some factors that cause serious bus accidents:
- Fatigue: A fatigued bus driver is driving unsafely. To combat fatigue, many bus drivers have been using a fatigue-warning device, which monitors the driver’s eye closure rate. If it senses an unsafe pattern, an alarm will sound.
- Speeding: Because of the increased weight and size of buses, they have increased stopping times. This means that speeding can be dangerous because it makes it more difficult for a bus driver to stop if traffic suddenly stops.
- Unruly, Distracting Passengers: If the driver does not eject a passenger for being unruly, they could become distracted and cause an accident.
- Distracted Driving: Some bus drivers have been charged with texting while driving, eating while driving, adjusting navigation devices, and more. School bus drivers are banned from talking on their cell phones while the bus is in motion. However, accidents still happen every year because of this.
As you can see, there are many similarities between these accidents and why they occur. However, as more buses and large trucks enter the roadways with passenger vehicles, you can expect these accidents to happen. If you have been injured in a large truck or bus accident because of driver negligence, you may have a case. Call Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi today for help handling your case and getting you the compensation you rightfully deserve!