New stats debunk occurrence of fatigue-related crashes

| 10/11/2010

Flying in the face of often reported statistics that driver fatigue is a significant factor in large truck crashes, a new set of statistics released by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration paints a very different picture.

In a report titled, “2009: Historic Truck Crash Declines,” presented by Ralph Craft, Ph.D., with FMCSA’s Analysis Division, fatigued driving was coded as a factor in only 1.4 percent of fatal large truck crashes – the same as being under the influence of alcohol, drugs or medications.

The report breaks down the top 10 factors coded in fatal crashes. Leading the way in 7.3 percent of the crashes was speeding. The presentation does not specify a difference between speeding and driving too fast for conditions.

Speeding is followed by failure to keep in proper lane and inattentive driving, which were coded as factors in 6.5 and 5.7 percent of the fatal large truck crashes.

Fatigued driving tied for seventh on the list, after failure to yield right-of-way, failure to obey traffic signs and overcorrecting.

Following improperly and making an improper turn rounded out the top 10 list of fatal crash factors.

Overall, the report notes that large truck fatalities dropped to 3,380, which reflects a 20.4 percent decline from 2008. Crashes dropped 20.4 percent as well.

– By Land Line staff