Passenger cars most likely to blame for accidents, studies show

Studies show that many crashes involving a commercial truck and a smaller vehicle were initiated or caused by the driver of the smaller vehicle.


A new report released by the American Trucking Associations summarizes the car-truck relative contribution/fault findings of several large-scale studies. 

"The principal policy reason for evaluating relative contribution, and the nature of errors that increase crash risk, is to design and implement cost-effective truck safety programs that yield the greatest safety benefits," ATA President and CEO, Bill Graves said.  "In the context of prevention and countermeasures, it's critical to understand relative contribution since cars are involved in the majority of truck crashes. 

"Every crash, and every fatality and injury, suffered on our nation's highways is a tragedy," Graves said.  "Preventing them from happening requires a proper understanding of the causes of these crashes. "It is also tragic that carriers and drivers across this country are saddled with guilt and blame for many crashes they could do nothing to prevent."  

ATA's paper cites studies by the University of Michigan, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, AAA and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, all of which show that many crashes involving a commercial truck and a smaller vehicle were initiated or caused by the driver of the smaller vehicle. 

"Trucks and truck drivers are out on America's roads with one goal: the safe and efficient delivery of the goods they are hauling," Graves said. "They understand they bear a great responsibility to keep our roads safe for all motorists, and they should not continue to be penalized by their government for the unsafe actions of other motorists when it's plainly evident that the professional driver did not cause or could not have avoided a crash." 

"It is imperative that FMCSA institute a fair process to address the question of crash accountability in its Compliance, Safety, Accountability monitoring system," Graves said.  

ATA, along with its great partners Mack and Michelin, will continue to do as much as it can to prevent car-truck crashes through its longstanding Share the Road program.  For information on ATA's Share the Road program, please click here.

To read a summary of ATA's findings, click here, or to read the whole report, click here.

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