Commercial Driving Safety

Everyone who takes to the road, regardless of their driving experience, faces potential risks. In 2017, the statistics highlighted the dangers, particularly for those driving or operating large trucks and buses. Understanding these risks is crucial for all road users, commercial drivers included.

Motor Vehicle Accident Statistics

  • Fatalities and Crashes: There were 34,247 fatal motor vehicle crashes resulting in 37,133 deaths on American roads.
  • Trucks and Buses: Large trucks or buses were involved in 5,005 of these fatal incidents.
  • Increase from prior year: Both fatalities and fatal crashes saw an 8% increase from the previous year.

Commercial Motor Vehicle Statistics

  • Occupant Fatalities: 17% of fatalities in large truck and bus crashes were occupants of these vehicles, marking a 7% increase from 2016.
  • Contribution to Traffic Fatalities: Large trucks and buses were involved in 13% of all traffic fatalities.
  • Seatbelt Usage: 39% of large truck occupants killed were not wearing a seatbelt.
  • Speed-Related Crashes: Speed was a factor in 17% of crashes resulting in large truck occupant fatalities.
  • Location of Crashes: 61% of these fatal crashes occurred in rural areas, and 27% in work zones.
  • Driver Distraction: 6% of these crashes involved large truck driver distraction, with 16% related to cell phone use.

Driving Safety Tips

  1. Safety Belt: Always wear a safety belt.
  2. Speed Management: Adjust speed for adverse conditions and enter curves or ramps slowly.
  3. Loaded Trailers: Drive carefully with a loaded trailer, especially in work zones.
  4. Route Planning: Review maps and plan your route before driving.
  5. Defensive Driving: Stay alert, monitor mirrors frequently, and anticipate road situations.
  6. Rest: Ensure adequate sleep before driving and recognize signs of drowsiness.
  7. Distraction Avoidance: Avoid external distractions and never text while driving.
  8. Following Distance: Maintain a safe following distance, doubling it in adverse conditions.
  9. Brake Lights and Scanning: Watch for brake lights and practice good scanning habits.
  10. Signaling: Always signal your intentions to other road users.


The statistics and tips underline the importance of safety awareness and practices for all drivers, particularly in commercial motor vehicle operations. Adhering to these guidelines can significantly reduce the risk of accidents and improve road safety for everyone.

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