Research/studies Trucking

Iowa study shows heavy trucks more likely to crash in a.m., early p.m.


Ames, IA – Severe crashes involving heavy trucks on Iowa roadways are more likely to occur during the early morning or midday hours, according to a study from Iowa State University’s Center for Transportation Research and Education.

Crash data from the Iowa Department of Transportation and other sources was used to try to determine patterns in the state, in which 16.5 percent of all fatal vehicle crashes in 2010 involved heavy trucks (single-unit trucks with two and three axles, as well as combination truck-tractors/semi-trailers), compared with the national average of 7.8 percent.

Findings included:

  • Heavy truck crashes resulting in severe injuries were more likely to occur during the morning (5 a.m. to 8 a.m.) or midday (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.).
  • Older drivers were more likely to sustain severe injuries than younger drivers.
  • Crashes that took place during the weekend and the beginning of the week (Monday and Tuesday) were most likely to result in severe injuries.
  • Lower proportions of severe crashes were found in areas with more law enforcement presence.

However, no significant correlation exists between crash frequency and age, gender or commercial driver’s license history, the researchers stated.