Truck Safety Issues

Truck crash death and injuries figures in the United States are staggering. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) data reports nearly 6,000 fatalities a year, representing a 75% increase since 2009. On top of that, over 160,000 individuals are injured annually. In fatal crashes involving a large truck and passenger vehicle, 97% of fatalities are passenger vehicle occupants, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The annual taxpayer cost of truck crashes exceeds $170 billion, imposing a steep economic drain on our society. The Truck Safety Coalition is devoted to advancing comprehensive solutions to stop the unnecessary and unacceptable carnage on our roads.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Trucks

Watch this to learn some of the fundamental issues in the trucking industry that adversely impact safety.
*Warning: Strong Language*

The Decision That Broke American Trucking

Watch this short 8-min video to understand why trucking is broken and unsafe, and more importantly, how to fix it.

Issues We Support

The Truck Safety Coalition supports data-driven safety solutions that will reduce truck crashes, prevent injuries, and save lives, such as:

Automatic Emergency Braking

Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) is a collision avoidance technology that has been proven to reduce crashes and mitigate the severity of collisions. It has been successfully used by leading U.S. trucking companies and there is ample data and research to support its required use.

Underride Guards

Underride guards save lives. The federal government should require all trucks and trailers to be equipped with energy-absorbing rear, side, and front underride guards to protect car occupants and vulnerable road users from underride crashes.

Speed Limiters

Speed limiters have been built into most trucks’ engine control modules since the 1990s. This technology improves safety by reducing and mitigating truck crashes while improving a truck’s fuel efficiency, which is why leading motor carriers have required their fleets to be governed for years.

Minimum Insurance

The minimum insurance required per truck per event was set at $750,000 in 1980. Since then, that minimum has never been increased, not even to account for general inflation or medical-cost inflation despite the fact that truck size and weight limits and speed limits have increased significantly during this time.

Issues We Oppose

The Truck Safety Coalition opposes dangerous rollbacks and exemptions to proven safety rules, such as:

Longer and Heavier Trucks

Longer trucks are more difficult to maneuver around and more difficult to operate. Heavier trucks are more damaging to critical infrastructure and even more destructive when involved in crashes.

Teen Truck Drivers

Teen truckers will make our roads less safe. Data shows that teen drivers are 2.3 times more likely to be in a fatal crash and 3.5 times as likely to be involved in any police reported crash.

Agriculture Exemptions

Exemptions to federal motor carrier safety regulations compromise safety, erode uniformity, and weaken enforcement efforts.

Limits to Shipper and Broker Liability

Proposals to set a weak “national standard” for shippers and brokers are at such a low threshold that they would actually serve to reduce safety accountability.

Fact Sheets and Infographics

If you are looking for more information, take a look at our fact sheets and infographics that summarize key truck safety data and information.