Truck-involved crash fatalities rose in 2022

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Updated Apr 4, 2024

The number of people killed in traffic crashes involving large trucks increased by 2% from 2021 to 2022, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s final 2022 Fatality Analysis Reporting System data released this week. NHTSA defines “large trucks” as commercial and non-commercial trucks with GVWRs of over 10,000 pounds for the purposes of this report.

Truck-involved crash fatalities and injuries in 2022 -- finalThe number of people killed and injured in crashes involving large trucks increased in 2022, as shown in this chart.NHTSA

Overall, there were 716 fewer people killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes on U.S. roadways during 2022, a 1.7% decrease from 43,230 in 2021 to 42,514 in 2022. The fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) decreased by 3.6% from 1.38 in 2021 to 1.33 in 2022. 

For large truck-involved crashes, however, NHTSA reported that 5,936 people were killed in crashes involving large trucks in 2022, up from 5,821 in 2021. The number of large-truck occupants that were killed in crashes in 2022 increased by 8.5% to 1,097 fatalities.

Other vehicle occupants killed in crashes with large trucks decreased slightly (0.2%) to 4,167. Non-occupants (motorcyclists, pedestrians, pedalcyclists and more) killed in crashes involving large trucks increased by 6% from 2021 to a total of 672.

The number of people injured in large truck-involved crashes also increased by 5,795 year-over-year -- a 3.7% increase -- to 160,608. There were 41,874 large-truck occupants injured in crashes (down 0.7% from 2021) and 118,735 other vehicle occupants and non-occupants injured (up 5.4% from 2021).

NHTSA also released its latest projections for traffic fatalities in 2023, estimating more miles driven and lower fatality rates compared to 2022. The estimates for 2023 do not include specific data based on vehicle type.

The agency estimates that 40,990 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2023, a decrease of about 3.6% as compared to 42,514 fatalities reported to have occurred in 2022. The fourth quarter of 2023 represents the seventh consecutive quarterly decline in fatalities beginning with the second quarter of 2022.

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The estimated fatality rate for 2023 decreased to 1.26 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, down from the reported rate of 1.33 per 100 million VMT in 2022. Estimates also show that VMT in 2023 increased by about 67.5 billion miles, a 2.1% increase over 2022.

[Related: Navigating the bends in the road to improve highway safety]