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Trucking

Researchers analyze crash trends among large truck types

June 27, 2013

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Arlington, VA – Large truck crash rates are decreasing overall, but the decline is slowed by an increase in crash rates involving medium-duty trucks, according to a new report from the American Transportation Research Institute.

ATRI, the research arm of the American Trucking Associations, compared crash trends from 2000 to 2010 for medium-duty trucks, which have a gross vehicle weight rating between 10,001 and 26,000 pounds, and heavy-duty trucks, which have a rating of more than 26,000 pounds. Researchers found that the “crash rate index” – which compares crash trends against a baseline – improved by about 25 percent for heavy-duty trucks, while the index for medium-duty trucks decreased by 38.3 percent. Researchers suggested the worsening CRIs among medium-duty trucks may be caused by drivers who work during non-business hours that are not subject to hours-of-service regulations.

Researchers said the findings of overall large truck crash rates decreasing could understate improvements made in the heavy-duty truck group, as well as hide the increasing crash rates in the medium-duty group, according to the report.