The FMCSA has a new study out that “[d]rivers of large trucks and other vehicles involved in truck crashes are ten times more likely to be the cause of the crash than other factors, such as weather, road conditions, and vehicle performance ….”
A quick summary from the press release: “The study, conducted with the help of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, investigated a national sample of fatal and injury crashes between April 2001 and December 2003 at 24 sites in 17 states. Each crash involved at least one large truck and resulted in at least one fatality or injury. The total sample of 967 crashes included 1,127 large trucks, 959 non-truck motor vehicles, 251 fatalities, and 1,408 injuries. Action or inaction by the driver of either the truck or other vehicle was the critical reason for 88 percent of the crashes.”
Here is the study.
An interesting quote from the Executive Summary: “Brake problems were coded for almost 30 percent of the trucks but only 5 percent of the passenger vehicles. Roadway problems were present in 16 percent of the two-vehicle cases, and adverse weather conditions were present in approximately 13 percent of the crashes. Interruption in the traffic flow (previous crash, work zone, rush hour congestion, etc.) was coded in almost 25 percent of the two-vehicle crashes.”
I have handled tractor trailer cases for 25 years and found this study fascinating.