According to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the number of fatalities that can be directly linked to truck crashes has been steadily increasing since 2009. The main reason for the steady increase can be directly correlated with a growing economy that requires more goods to be shipped which means more trucks on the road to deliver these goods in an efficient and timely manner. And demand for more trucks is only getting larger by the day.

In 2012 there were officially over 10.5 million large trucks registered in the United States. In that year there were nearly 317,000 crashes involving large trucks, which is a little over 860 crashes every single day. Those crashes resulted in a total of over 3,900 fatalities, roughly 11 deaths every day.

In light of these numbers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a revised a Revised Hours-of-Service rules that went into effect in July 2013 in an effort to reduce truck driver fatigue-related crashes. This helps to ensure that truck drivers get the required rest that they need to be able to function in a safe manner when they are on the road.

The revised regulations reduce the average work week for truckers from 82 hours to a maximum of 70 hours. It also makes it mandatory for large truck drivers to take a half-hour break during the first eight hours they are on the job. Data was collected after the revised rules were instituted, and upon analysis it was determined that crashes had been reduced by about 1,400 annually. There was also $280 million in savings due to the drop in the number of large truck crashes overall.

Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, “The Facts on Hours-of-Service,” Dept. of Transportation