Created in 1999, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is a federal agency that works within the U.S. Department of Transportation. The focus of the administration is to reduce the number of crashes, injuries, and fatalities that take place on the nation’s roads involving large trucks and buses.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) also maintains all statistics related to crashes involving fleet trucks and other vehicles. The latest such report shows that the number of crashes involving large trucks has increased slightly.
That’s one reason that fleet managers who want to maintain a high level of trucking industry safety turn to telematics solutions that reduce the risk of operating large trucks.
FMCSA Large Truck Crash Data
The FMCSA data shows the need for more safety in fleet management. The federal agency reports that there were 4,079 fatal crashes involving large trucks or buses in 2016, the latest numbers available. That number is 6% higher than the number from previous years.
In all, there were 34,439 fatal accidents when all vehicles are counted.
Other statistics from FMCSA shed a light on accidents in the trucking industry.
- More than 39% of large truck occupants killed in crashes were not wearing a seatbelt
- In 17% of truck crashes that included a large truck occupant fatality, speed was a factor
- Of all fatal crashes involving large trucks, 61% happened in rural areas
- Of all the fatal crashes in work zones, 27% involved a large truck
- Driver distraction played a role in 6% of large truck crashes – of those, 16% involved cell phone use
The FMCSA also reports that 10 states have the highest number of large truck fatal accidents. They are California, Texas, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina.
How Telematics Can Help
Telematics are designed to optimize many elements of fleet operations. One of the primary goals is to lower the risk associated with driving a large truck. This is considered a critical part of enterprise fleet management in the trucking industry.
This is accomplished using advanced software systems. For example, EnVue Telematics has partnered with Pulse to offer a safety system that prevents rear-end collisions by pulsing a vehicle’s third brake light rapidly when the brake pedal is tapped.
Other systems monitor speed to ensure the trucks do not surpass the speed limit and alert drivers if they become distracted from the road. Some systems also provide in-vehicle driver coaching.
These systems also can provide cameras that improve the view of drivers and videotape any incidents to get a better understanding of what happened. They also use GPS to find the safest routes in real-time given factors such as road conditions and weather. Telematics also helps the trucking industry stay compliant with FMCSA rules and regulations. Given the number of accidents on the road involving large trucks, it’s worth considering for fleet managers who want to reduce risk and optimize efficiency.