With more large trucks on U.S. roads, traveling more miles and transporting more, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is working to measure the size of the industry.
Earlier this year, the agency issued its 2016 Pocket Guide to Large Truck and Bus Statistics, which provides a snapshot on the state of the trucking and transport industries. The FMSCA believe the data can be used to devise policies that might help reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses.
Here are the highlights:
Registered Large Trucks:
The number of large trucks registered in the U.S. increased 3 percent in 2014 to nearly 11 million from the previous year.
Millions of vehicle miles traveled:
Large trucks (single-unit and tractor-trailers) traveled nearly 279,131 million miles in 2014 compared to 275,018 a year earlier.
Commercial drivers operating in the U.S. in 2015:
In 2015, half of all commercial truck drivers operating in the U.S. were interstate drivers with a commercial driver’s license, and 15 percent were intrastate CDL drivers.
Weight of freight shipped in U.S. by mode (millions of tons):
Trucks continue to be the main mode of transportation for freight in the U.S., responsible for moving 14,547 million tons worth of cargo in 2013 — equivalent to 73 percent of all cargo weight moved that year. In 2012, trucks moved 13,812 million tons of cargo.
Most frequent driver violations in roadside inspections:
Truckers who failed to log, update, or provide accurate information regarding their record of duty status led to 326,818 driver violations during 2015 roadside inspections. It was one of the most frequent type of driver violations that year, according to a list of the top 20 in the report. There were also 136,585 hours-of-service violations, where drivers violated their time limits.
Of the 6 million vehicle crashes that occurred in the U.S. in 2014, 476,000 involved large trucks and buses — a 22% increase from the previous year. However, the number of fatal crashes involving larger trucks and buses decreased almost 5 percent to 3,649 in 2014.
The estimated cost of large truck and bus crashes, including death, injury and property damage, in 2014 rose about 7% to $112 billion.