Semi-trucks cause more fatalities in a single year than commercial jets have caused in almost five decades.
It’s a startling statistic. And, unless something changes, it’s one that is probably only going to get worse. It may come as a surprise to learn that even people from pro-trucking groups take that position.
As contributor Howard Abramson of the New York Times points out, “[truck] accidents…are going to continue to happen unless Congress stops coddling the trucking industry.” Interestingly, Abramson himself was an executive at American Trucking Associations, a pro-trucking group and the largest national trade association for the trucking industry, between 1998 and 2014.
Abramson also points out that trucking-related deaths rose by 17 percent between 2009 and 2013. “Fatalities in truck-involved crashes have risen four years in a row… The crashes are killing not only car drivers but also, during 2013 alone, 586 people who were truck drivers or passengers.” According to the CDC, truck and bus crashes cost the economy $99 billion every year.
Abramson also notes that “large trucks are disproportionately involved in fatal accidents. While heavy trucks accounted for less than 10 percent of total miles traveled in the United States during 2013, according to federal data, the NTSB recently reported that they were involved in one in eight of all fatal accidents and one-quarter of all fatal accidents in work zones…”
Conversely, deaths caused by car accidents fell by three percent during the same time period. Overall, there are fewer car accidents with each passing year, but the truck accidents just keep going up.