Serious accidents involving dump trucks and ready-mix concrete delivery trucks continue to edge up, part of a persistent, multi-industry problem with poor driving habits that has not yet responded to increased fleet and vehicle insurance premiums. Federal regulators and industry safety experts have sought to cut the accidents by limiting driver fatigue and using technology to keep a closer tab on what happens on the road.
Dump truck accidents severe enough that the vehicle had to be towed away rose 9%, hitting 8,206 in 2016, the latest year statistics are available. The number of dump truck accidents (which includes many non-construction-related uses) involving injuries rose 2.7%, to 5,483, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA).
Towaway accidents involving ready-mix concrete delivery trucks jumped 9.6%, to 838 in 2016, with accidents that caused injuries up 3.8%, the federal agency reports.
Ready-mix concrete trucks also saw an increase in fatal accidents, to 38 in 2016 from 33 the year before, according to the FMSCA.
The increase in serious dump truck crashes was offset by a slight decrease in fatal accidents, which dropped slightly from 369 to 367 from 2015 to 2016.
The increases come as progress in reducing the number of accidents involving all types of large trucks, including dump trucks and ready-mix concrete trucks, appears to have stalled over the last decade.
Crashes involving large trucks fell substantially in the years after 2000 amid efforts by federal regulators and insurance companies that improved technology and campaigns aimed at boosting driver safety. But after falling to significantly lower levels, accidents involving large trucks of all types, including fatal crashes, are climbing again.
Distracted driving involving cell phone use and speeding, coupled with by-the-load incentives, are among the culprits, experts say.