A new report from the DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that the number of large truck occupant fatalities increased by 8.9% between 2011 and 2012 up to 697. In 2011, the number of deaths was 20% higher than in 2010.
Despite the increase in the past few years, deaths among occupants of large trucks are the lowest they’ve been since 1950.
These numbers are also reflected in the total number of highway fatalities. In 2012, there were 33,561 highway fatalities. The NHTSA says that the number of highway deaths are at “historic lows.”
The ATA commented on the report saying that the NHTSA is not using specific enough categories to accurately portray the data. They note that the NHTSA counts non-freight-hauling vehicles as “large trucks” which is causing people to incorrectly believe that freight-hauling trucks are more prone to fatal accidents than they actually are. According to the ATA, the report “paints an incomplete and misleading picture of the nation’s trucking industry.”