Fewer large-truck fatalities in 2005, FMCSA says

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The year 2005 brought slightly fewer large truck fatalities than the year before and continued a trend of fewer injuries, according to preliminary figures for the year in a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration report. FMCSA’s Motor Carrier Safety Progress Report tracks safety outcomes for large trucks and buses as well as the administration’s data quality and program outputs. The report was last updated Sept. 19.

There were 5,212 truck fatalities in 2005, compared to 5,235 in 2004 and 5,036 in 2003. Truck fatality rates remained at 2.3 per 100 million truck vehicle miles traveled. In contrast, inner-city bus fatalities increased to 70 in 2005, compared to 57 in 2004 and 36 in 2003.

Truck injury rates dropped from 122,000 in 2003 to 116,000 in 2004 and 114,000 in 2005. The truck injury rate per 100 million truck vehicle miles traveled decreased from 56 in 2003 to slightly more than 51 in 2004 to slightly more than 50 in 2005.

The program outputs division compared numbers for fiscal years 2004 and 2005 with numbers for fiscal year 2006 year to date, or October 2005 through June 2006. Nearly all the enforcement categories — including federal and state compliance reviews, enforcement cases initiated, out-of-service orders and roadside inspections – show an increase in 2005, then a drop in 2006. Three months of fiscal year 2006 remain unreported, however.

For example, there were 2,949,588 roadside truck inspections in 2004, compared to 2,966,689 in 2005 and 2,309,258 in 2006 through June. Out-of-service orders went from 415 in 2004 to 518 in 2005 to 351 in 2006 through June. The complete report is online at www.fmcsa.dot.gov.