Driving certain types of rigs, like tankers and flatbeds, is probably among the most dangerous major occupations in the country.
Trucking is a dangerous profession. According to recent statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), large trucks were involved in approximately 368,000 police-reported motor vehicle traffic crashes in one year’s timeframe. Of that number, close to 4,500 involved fatalities, and 77,000 involved injuries. It is the primary mission of the FMCSA to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries, particularly involving large trucks and buses.
Data collected by the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS) reported the following National Crash Facts for 2008:
4,066 large trucks and 247 buses were involved in crashes resulting in fatalities
There were 4,229 fatalities in crashes involving large trucks and 307 fatalities in crashes involving buses
129,653 large trucks and 14,045 buses were involved in non-fatal crashes
51,680 large trucks and 7,603 buses were involved in crashes resulting in injury
There were 71,329 injuries in crashes involving large trucks and 17,148 injuries in crashes involving buses
77,973 large trucks and 6,442 buses were involved in tow-away crashes
2,641 large trucks and 11 buses were involved in Hazmat (HM) Placard crashes
Driving certain types of rigs, like tankers and flatbeds, is probably among the most dangerous major occupations in the country. Rollover accidents account for the highest percentage of driver fatalities, at about 55 percent, while another 10 percent of fatalities are attributed to fuel oil fires. Other dangers to commercial truck drivers include accidents involving truck jackknifing, brakes and downhill braking.