Truck accidents can happen anywhere. Out of the 50 states, recent data analysis from Simplex reveals that Michigan has clocked in the lowest crashes and fatalities, hailing the Great Lake State as the safest place for truck drivers.
Top Three Safest States for Truck Drivers
The findings are based on transportation service provider Simplex Group’s data analysis. They compared each US state’s reported fatal truck accidents in the past 12 months with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) 2020 report.
Their research shows that Michigan, Vermont, and Hawaii are the top three safest states for truck drivers.
Out of the 50 states analyzed, Michigan comes out on top as the safest state for truck drivers. Unlike the other safest states that Simplex listed in their research, Michigan only logged 4.72% of deadly crashes involving trucks. The percentage is significant, especially when you compare it with the least-safe state (Wyoming) for truck drivers in the United States, which is at 18.97%.
To put it in perspective, within 12 months, the East North Central state reported 1,567 deadly vehicular accidents, only 74 of which involved trucks.
Taking the second spot for the safest state for truck drivers is the state of Vermont. The deadly crash involving trucks percentage between the two states is too close to notice a significant difference, with Vermont recording 0.28% more than Michigan, or 5% to be more precise. Conversely, Vermont reported four fatalities involving trucks versus Michigan’s 74 records.
The Green Mountain State, however, has fewer vehicular crashes than Michigan. In 12 months, Vermont only recorded 80 vehicles involved in life-threatening crashes, significantly less than Michigan’s 1,567.
Hawaii, which offers one of the most scenic coastal views for a road trip, takes the last place. Compared to Vermont, the percentage of Hawaii’s large truck fatalities is 5.26%. Although the state has more logged crashes than Vermont at 114, only six involved trucks.
Other Safe States for Truck Drivers
Although the following states below did not make the top three cut, they are generally safe for truck drivers, according to Simplex Group’s research.
- Delaware: 5.56%
- Massachusetts: 5.76%
- Connecticut: 6.02%
- New Jersey: 6.60%
- Maryland: 6.97%
- Nevada: 6.02%
- Florida: 7.24%
Top Three Least-Safe State for Drivers
The research did not only discover the safest state for truck drivers; they also found the most perilous states. Unlike the top ten safest states, which average from 4% to 7%, these most dangerous states for truck drivers are between 11% to 18%.
In their analysis, Wyoming is over four times more dangerous than Michigan. Out of the logged 174 fatal crashes, 33 involved trucks. That’s a staggering 18.97% versus Michigan’s 4.72% rate.
Fatal crashes in Idaho are significantly higher than in Wyoming, recording 300 incidents versus Wyoming’s 174. However, despite the high number, the Gem State only reported 49 crashes involving trucks, or 16.33%.
Nebraska is at the last spot, with 15.92% recorded fatalities involving trucks. Compared to Idaho and Wyoming, the Cornhusker State has the highest number of deadly vehicular accidents at 333, with 59 trucks involved. Still, Nebraska’s percentage is 0.41 less than Idado 3.05 than Wyoming’s.
Other Least-Safe States for Truck Drivers
There are other states included in Simplex’s list of least-safe for truck drivers. Although their percentages are lower than the top three, these seven states also reported high truck crashes, ranging from 11% to 14%.
- Iowa: 14.35%
- North Dakota: 13.24%
- South Dakota: 12.57%
- Alaska: 12.50%
- Kansas: 11.94%
- Indiana: 11.80%
- Texas: 11.39%
Making Roads Safer
Simplex says their findings give a fascinating insight into which states prioritize truck driver safety and need to implement more safety measures.
So, what can be done to improve road safety for truck drivers?
Aside from regular maintenance, there are other safety protocols initiated by vehicle manufacturers, freight companies, and government agencies to mitigate accidents and fatalities involving trucks. Each can vary in application or usage, but the goal remains the same – reduce road mishaps.
Advanced Driver Assistance Systems
Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) use advanced built-in features like brake assist, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and lane keep to reduce traffic-related accidents and driving complexity and increase road safety.
Many car brands like Toyota and Honda have already adopted it, calling their tech Safety Sense and Sensing, respectively. In commercial vehicles like large trucks, many fleets still rely on driving skills to prevent crashes.
The good news is Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) partnered with other organizations and launched the initiative Tech-Celerate Now to push the adaptation of ADAS in trucks.
Similar to ADAS, autonomous driving has yet to be adopted in trucks. This tech uses sophisticated Artificial Intelligence (AI) software together with ultrasonic sensors and cameras for long-haul deliveries while ensuring the vehicle doesn’t crash.
Unlike ADAS, drivers don’t need to be behind the wheel; the trucks are fully controlled by the system. This tech addresses not only truck driver shortage but also allows deliveries to dangerous routes, which would otherwise endanger the driver’s safety.