Periodically, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) conducts studies involving accidents that occur on U.S. highways. The NTSB is a federal agency that was created to promote safety standards for trucks and other vehicles transporting goods across state lines. The NTSB tracks accidents, injuries, and their causes in an attempt to develop new safety standards to decrease the frequency of accidents in the future.
The most recent study conducted by the NTSB indicates that there are over eight million single-unit trucks registered in the U.S. that travel over 110 billion miles each year. Even though these vehicles only amount to about 3% of registered motor vehicles, they account for about 9% of all fatal accidents. These startling numbers show the true hazard to all drivers and passengers these trucks pose. Ultimately, the study revealed that there are many areas in which safety improvements are needed, such as ones to prevent underride accidents.
One important conclusion of the most recent study was that many fatalities are caused due to underride accidents. Interestingly, this is due in large part to the fact that many single-unit trucks are excluded from many safety rules that apply to tractor-trailers. As a result, these vehicles do not meet the safety standards for improved underride guards, which can prevent a significant number of deaths and injuries.