This annual edition of Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts contains descriptive
statistics about fatal, injury, and property damage only crashes involving
large trucks and buses in 2009. Selected crash statistics on passenger
vehicles are also presented for comparison purposes.
The information in this report was compiled by the Analysis Division of
the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The major sources
for the data are described below:
Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).
FARS, maintained by the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), is a census of fatal crashes
involving motor vehicles traveling on public trafficways. FARS is recognized
as the most reliable national crash database, but it contains information
only on fatal crashes. A large truck is defined in FARS as a truck with
a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 10,000 pounds.
General Estimates System (GES).
GES, also maintained by NHTSA, is a probability-based
nationally representative sample of all police-reported fatal, injury,
and property damage only crashes. The data from GES yield national estimates,
calculated using a weighting procedure, but cannot give State-level estimates.
Also, GES is a sample of motor vehicle crashes, and the results generated
are estimates. For this reason, all GES data shown in this report are rounded
to the nearest thousand. However, percentages and rates are calculated
using the unrounded GES numbers. The GES definition of a large truck is
the same as the FARS definition.
Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS) Crash File.
Crash File, maintained by FMCSA, contains data on trucks and buses in crashes
that meet the SAFETYNET recommended threshold. A SAFETYNET reportable crash
must involve a truck, used for commercial purposes, with a GVWR or gross
combination weight rating greater than 10,000 pounds; or a commercial bus
designed to transport more than eight people, including the driver. The
crash must result in at least one fatality, at least one injury involving
immediate medical attention away from the crash scene, or at least one
vehicle disabled as a result of the crash and transported away from the
crash scene. The crashes are reported by the States to FMCSA through the
SAFETYNET computer software. The MCMIS Crash File is intended to be a census
of trucks and buses involved in fatal, injury, and towaway crashes; however,
some States do not report all FMCSA-eligible crashes, and some report more
than those that are eligible. FMCSA continues to work with the States to
improve data quality and reporting of eligible large truck and bus crashes
to the MCMIS crash file.
FARS, GES, and MCMIS describe the events and details of motor vehicle crashes,
but they do not include data on crash causation or fault.
Highway Statistics is an annual publication of the
Office of Highway Policy Information of the Federal Highway Administration
(FHWA). State agencies report the data, ranging from driver licensing to
highway finance, and FHWA aggregates them to get national totals. This
report takes vehicle miles traveled and vehicle registrations from Table
VM-1 of Highway Statistics, Annual Vehicle Distance Traveled in Miles
and Related Data.
Organization of the Report
This years report is organized into four chapters: Trends, Crashes, Vehicles,
and People. The Trends chapter shows data for 2009 in the context of available
historical data for past years. In the other chapters, the 2009 data are
shown in different ways, according to what is being counted. The Crashes
chapter counts numbers of crashes; the Vehicles chapter counts vehicles
in crashes; and the People chapter counts persons of all types involved
in crashes. Four different types of counts are shown:
Crashes: Numbers of crashes involving various vehicle types.
Vehicles in Crashes: Numbers of vehicles involved in crashes. These counts
may be larger than the number of crashes (fatal, injury, or property damage
only), because more than one vehicle may be involved in a single crash.
People in Crashes: Numbers of people killed or injured in crashes. These
counts generally are larger than the number of crashes (fatal or injury),
because more than one person may be killed or injured in a single crash.
People killed or injured may be occupants of a truck, occupants of another
vehicle, or nonmotorists (pedestrians or pedalcyclists).
Drivers in Crashes: Numbers of vehicle drivers involved in crashes. These
counts generally are equal to the numbers of vehicles involved in crashes.
Note: The Federal Highway Administration implemented an enhanced methodology
for estimating registered vehicles and vehicle miles traveled by vehicle type
for the years 2007-2009. As a result, involvement rates may differ,
and in some cases significantly, from previously published rates. For more information,