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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

2018 CMV Traffic Safety Fact Sheet


Our Mission

Our mission at FMCSA is saving lives by reducing crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving CMV transportation through education, innovation, regulation, enforcement, financial assistance, partnerships, and full accountability. 

To achieve this mission, FMCSA places safety as the highest priority of the Agency as we continue to strengthen our partnerships, reach out to all stakeholders, collaborate effectively, offer grants to States and highway safety groups, and support data utilization and leveraging technology. 

Challenges Ahead

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is dedicated to saving lives by preventing crashes involving commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). This fact sheet provides a snapshot of the CMV industry as it relates to fatalities resulting from large truck and bus crashes. Data is based on crash data from both FMCSA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). While progress has been made to reduce crashes involving large trucks and buses, more work remains to accomplish our vision, namely, moving towards zero large truck and bus fatalities.

2017 CMV Related Fatalities by the Numbers

  • 37,133 lives lost on America’s roadways in 34,247 fatal motor vehicle crashes.
  • 5,005 lives lost in 4,455 crashes involving large trucks or buses; fatalities increased 8% from 2016, and fatal crashes increased 8%.
  • Large truck occupants comprised 17% of all large truck and bus fatalities, a 7% increase from 2016.
  • Large trucks and buses account for 13% of the traffic fatalities.

Source: Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and Federal Highway Administration, Highway Statistics 2017 data
Note: FARS data includes 10,000 to 14,000 lb trucks. Though these vehicles are categorized as large trucks, they are not necessarily used for commercial purposes. Personal vehicles not used for a commercial purpose, though categorized as large, are not regulated by FMCSA.

Ten States with the highest average of fatal large truck and bus crashes for 2015–2017

California, Texas, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina

These ten States represent:

51% of fatal crashes involving at least one large truck or bus
51% of fatalities resulting from a crash involving at least
51% one large truck or bus of all FARS fatal crashes

Source: FARS 2014-2017 data

Large Truck Fatal Crash Data

  • At least 39% of large truck occupants killed in crashes were not wearing a seatbelt
  • Speed was a factor in 17% of truck crashes with at least one large truck occupant fatality
  • 61% of fatal crashes involving a large truck occurred in rural areas
  • 27% of fatal crashes in work zones involved a large truck
  • 6% involved large truck driver distraction as a factor, of which 16% was related to cell phone use
Source: Large Truck Fatal Crash Data 2016

Key Partnerships

FMCSA will continue to strengthen our partnerships as we strive to make our roadways safer for the public and the CMV industry—one mile at a time. The following is a non-exhaustive list of our partners, whose efforts we recognize in working towards our safety mission.

  • Federal: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), USDOT Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology
  • Organizations: American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA), American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA), Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), International Registration Plan (IRP), National District Attorneys Association (NDAA)
  • Law Enforcement: Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA)


  • Partner with FHWA, NHTSA, and state governors’ representatives as part of the strategic highway safety plan development
  • Provide outreach materials to law enforcement organizations as well as FMCSA, FHWA and NHTSA regional and division administrators
  • Encourage highly visible traffic enforcement of large truck and bus drivers committing serious traffic offenses and unsafe driving behaviors, such as speeding, following too close, improper lane change, texting, cell phone use, impaired driving, and reckless driving
  • Ensure disqualification (suspension) of CDL drivers who are convicted of serious and major traffic offenses as outlined in 49 CFR 383.51
  • Engage law enforcement liaisons, traffic safety resource prosecutors, courts, and state licensing agencies
  • Provide large truck and bus traffic enforcement training materials
  • Support the National and State Law Enforcement Challenges

2019 Grant Projections

The grantor-grantee partnership is, and will continue to be, vitally important to allowing our Agency to fully achieve its safety mission.

In FY2019, FMCSA provided $383 million in grants to support programs tied to reducing the number of road fatalities.


  • Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) Basic & Incentive (includes border enforcement and new entrant grants): $304M
  • High Priority (includes innovative technology deployment,** performance & registration information system and safety data improvement grants): $44M
    Commercial Driver Licensing Program Implementation: $33M
    Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Operator: $2M
 *In 2017, Grant Programs were modified from five categories to four.
** Innovative Technology Deployment (ITD) wasn't formerly Commercial Vehicle Information Systems and Networks (CVISN).
Last updated: Thursday, August 1, 2019