NOIRS 2000--Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 2000, Pittsburgh, PA, October 17-19, 2000. Pittsburgh, PA: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2000 Oct; :74
Despite recent declines in highway deaths, fatalities involving large trucks (>10,000 lbs. GVW) increased from 4,462 in 1992 to 5,374 in 1998 (+20.4%), according to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) showed that occupational highway deaths involving semi-trucks increased from 375 in 1992 to 551 in 1997 (+46.9%). CFOI identified 2,914 semi-truck fatalities: operators (2,073); other workers in vehicles that collided with semi-trucks (706); and pedestrian workers struck by semi-trucks (135). Of the operator fatalities, 37.4% were non-collisions, 31.6% collisions, and 24.2% vehicle-vs.-stationary-object events. The truck most often struck: no other object (34.8%); another semi-truck (16.3%); another vehicle (14.9%); or a guardrail or other barrier (8.9%). The transportation industry (TCPU) had the highest frequency and rate of operator fatalities (1525, 2.93/100,000). Fatalities were lowest at 9 p.m. (31), increasing steadily and peaking at 5 a.m. (105). The 706 other workers killed in semi-truck incidents were driving or riding in cars (32.9%), pickup trucks (25.8%), vans (12.0%), tractors (3.1%), or another vehicle (24.4%); 1.8% were not classified as vehicle occupants. Highest frequencies by industry were in services (127) and TCPU (102); rates were highest in mining (.42) and agriculture/forestry/fishing (.29). Unlike operator fatalities, these events were most frequent between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Of the 135 pedestrian worker fatalities involving semi-trucks, 54.1% occurred in the roadway, the remaining 45.9% on the roadside. Over half worked in construction (37.0%, .11/100,000) or TCPU (24.4%, .06/100,000). Almost two-thirds of pedestrian fatalities occurred between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. Prevention strategies for operator fatalities include mandatory seat belt use, adherence to speed limits and hours-of-service regulations, and regular vehicle maintenance and inspection. Others who drive for work, or work on foot near semi-trucks, should receive training addressing truckers' blind spots, maneuvering capabilities, and braking distances.
NOIRS 2000 Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 2000, Pittsburgh, PA., October 17-19, 2000