The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will be conducting a workshop on May 13th and 14th to discuss issues related to fuel economy, vehicle mass reduction, and the effects of vehicle mass and size on vehicle safety. The workshop is being held at the Department of Transportation (DOT) headquarters in Washington, D.C., and will be available to watch live online through an NHTSA affiliated website.
According to the DOT, there are approximately 500,000 accidents involving tractor trailers every year. Almost 5,000 of these accidents result in fatalities. One out of eight traffic fatalities involves a truck. Ninety-eight percent of truck accident fatalities occur to the people in the passenger vehicles, not the trucks.
Data compiled from the NHTSA show that in 2008, more than half of the fatal accidents involving large truck occurred in a rural area (64 percent), during the day (67 percent) and on weekdays (80 percent). The majority of those accidents occurring on weekdays happened in the daytime (74 percent), and on weekends, at night (63 percent).
In half of the fatal accidents involving a truck and another type of vehicle, both vehicles were proceeding straight at the time of the crash. In nine percent of those accidents, the other vehicle was turning. In another nine percent, either the truck or other vehicle was negotiating a curve.
In announcing the workshop, the NHTSA said, “We want to bring together experts in the field to discuss questions that NHTSA must grapple with when we establish CAFE standards for model years 2022-2025 –like how much mass reduction will be feasible for different vehicles, how much that mass reduction will cause, and whether there will be safety effects as a result of that mass reduction.”
The workshop panel will be made up of NHTSA researchers, along with other government researchers, auto manufacturer and supplier representatives. To view the workshop online, register at the NHTSA teleconference page.