Risk Factors Associated with Crash Injury Severity Involving Trucks

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 499,000 crashes involving trucks were reported in the year 2018 across the United States. Nearly, 22% of these truck crashes (111,415) resulted in fatalities and injuries. The average truck fatal and injury crash costs exceed $3.6M and $200K, respectively. The anticipated growth in truck traffic is expected to further increase the number of crashes involving trucks, unless risk factors are identified and remedial solutions are proactively implemented.

Past research on truck crash analysis emphasized the importance of road network characteristics, driver characteristics and lighting/weather characteristics on truck crash injury severity. However, truck crashes and trends are also influenced by other factors like the area characteristics (land use development, population, and area type) in the near vicinity. The association between these factors and truck crashes was not widely explored in the past. There is a need to account for both on-network (road characteristics) and off-network characteristics (land use developments and demographic characteristics) along with the driver, lighting/weather, and crash characteristics for identifying risk factors and potential areas for safety improvement. Therefore, a methodological framework to capture, quantify, model, and examine the influence of various on-network and off-network characteristics on truck crash injury severity will be developed and illustrated.

Findings from this research will help identify where and why the likelihood of getting involved in a truck crash is higher. In addition to potential areas for allocation of resources, it will also assist with selecting suitable countermeasures to mitigate crashes involving trucks.

Mineta Consortium for Transportation Mobility
UNC Charlotte
Principal Investigator: 
Srinivas S. Pulugurtha, PhD
PI Contact Information: 

Director of IDEAS Center
Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte
9201 University City Boulevard
Charlotte, NC 28223-0001
Tel. (W): +1 704 687 1233
E-mail: sspulugurtha@uncc.edu 

Funding Source(s) and Amounts Provided (by each agency or organization): 

U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

Total Project Cost: 
Agency ID or Contract Number: 
February 2021 to October 2021
Implementation of Research Outcomes: 

The objective of the proposed research is to model and identify risk factors associated with crash injury severity involving trucks.

Impacts/Benefits of Implementation: 

The final report will provide insights on the influence of driver characteristics, lighting/weather characteristics, on-network and off-network characteristics on truck crash injury severity. It will help with identifying and prioritizing potential truck crash risk areas that need attention for safety improvement. The findings will also help with the identification and implementation of potential safety improvement strategies to reduce the risk of getting involved in crashes with trucks.

Project Number: 



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