Commercial Motor Vehicles & Heavy Trucks
From 2008 to 2012, heavy trucks were involved in 426 (9.9%) of South Carolina’s traffic fatalities and 818 (4.8%) of the severe injuries. From 2008 to 2012, heavy truck-involved fatalities fluctuated from a low of 71 in 2010 to a high of 92 in 2011. Serious injuries decreased by 7.1% (155 to 144) from 2008 to 2012. Collisions involving heavy trucks pose a higher risk of death and severe injury, particularly for other involved drivers, mainly due to greater size and weight of the truck vehicles. Heavy trucks are used not only to carrier property but passengers as well and the safety of all persons involved in these collisions needs to be considered. Of the total fatalities resulting from a collision with a heavy truck, 84.4% of the deaths were for non-truck occupants.
More than two-thirds (66.8%) of heavy truck-involved fatal and severe injury collisions stemmed from crashes occurring between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. and nearly as many occurred on interstates or US routes (59%). Over half of heavy truck involved collisions leading to fatalities occurred in eleven counties (Greenville, Florence, Richland, Orangeburg, Berkeley, Anderson, Jasper, Lexington, Dorchester, Charleston, and Colleton). About 44% of heavy truck-involved fatalities resulted from crashes in the months of January, May, March, and November.
The leading contributing factors for heavy truck-involved fatal and severe injury collisions were driving too fast for conditions (248 collisions, 24.4%), failure to yield right of way (187 collisions, 18.5%), and driving under the influence (100 collisions, 9.9%).
In fatal collisions involving a heavy truck/CMV and at least one other vehicle, truck drivers were shown to have contributed to the collision 32% of the time, compared to the other driver at 63%. It is important to note that an officer completing the collision report form can indicate more than one driver contributed to the collision.