Savvy fleet managers stay in the know when it comes to trucking and truck driver statistics. Without a solid knowledge base of what’s going on in the industry, it’s impossible to plan for the future.
Here’s a comprehensive list of facts that every fleet manager should know. These trucking statistics comprise the latest available figures and have been compiled using information from the most reputable data sources (full list at the base of this article).
Trucking industry facts
Trucking industry data reveals that just under 8 million people are employed in trucking-related jobs, 3.6 million being drivers. But what does this say about the overall trucking industry size? What is the number of trucks in the USA? How many companies are there? And what revenue do they generate?
Number of trucks
Did you know that of the 276 million vehicles registered in the U.S., 13.7% of them are trucks?
- 36.9 million trucks are used for business (excluding farm and governmental vehicles).
- There are 3.91 million Class 8 trucks in operation.
- The total number of for-hire carriers on file with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is 928,647.
- The total number of private carriers on file is 799,342.
Total number of companies
There are over 500,000 trucking companies in the USA, but 80% are classified as small businesses. Ever wondered how many trucking companies in the US operate on a large scale? Probably fewer than you think:
- Only 2.6% of fleets comprise more than 20 vehicles.
- 91.3% operate with six trucks or less.
- 97.4% operate with 20 trucks or less.
Delivery shipments are one of the most significant economic streams in the U.S. Trucking industry statistics suggest that most grocery stores would run out of produce within three days if long-haul truckers stopped driving.
- Trucking represents 80.4% of America’s total freight bill.
- The industry generates $791.7 billion per year.
The easiest way to break down transportation industry statistics is by mileage, delivery volume, and tonnage.
- Registered trucks travel 305 billion miles per year.
- Combination trucks travel over 184.2 billion miles per year.
Volume of goods delivered
According to the American Trucking Associations, trucks move roughly 72.5% of the nation's domestic freight by weight. That’s 11.84 billion tons. But how many trucks in the USA also deliver internationally?
- Trucks are responsible for 67.7% of surface trade between the US and Canada.
- Trucks are responsible for 83.1% of surface trade between the US and Mexico.
As a provider of safety-oriented software solutions, trucking accident stats are important to us and should be at the forefront of every fleet manager’s mind too. Driver and vehicle safety is vital in protecting your bottom line and improving Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) scores. Let’s look at some key data.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an average of 94% of vehicle collisions are caused by human error. FMCSA trucking statistics lists common driver violations as:
- Failure to obey traffic signs
- Failure to use a seatbelt
- Record of duty status violation
- Invalid medical certificate
The top vehicle inspection violations are:
- Proof of inspection
- Emergency equipment
- Inoperative turn signal
- Parts in need of repair
Total number of annual accidents
NHTSA data shows that, on average, there’s a traffic accident every 60 seconds on U.S. roads. That’s over 5 million a year. Only around 11% of these involve trucks, but the associated death toll still reaches over 4000.
- 74% involve a large truck
- 28% involve single-unit trucks
- 52% occur on major roads
- 33% occur on freeways and interstates
- 68% of all fatalities are occupants of passenger vehicles
Average cost of loss
The FMCSA produced a white paper outlining the average cost of crashes involving large trucks in 2007. If we adjust for inflation, today’s average figures stand at:
- $120,000 for large truck accidents
- $382,000 for tractor-trailer accidents
- Up to $4.8 million for accidents involving fatalities
However, these figures don’t account for increased liability costs since the original publication date, and insurance premiums have seen a significant spike in recent years as a result.
Protect your fleet today
If the trucking statistics you’ve read today make you feel uncomfortable, then it may be time to consider additional measures.
At Lytx, we specialize in providing software that identifies and eliminates risk, so you can focus on keeping your drivers safer, your fleet on the road, and your business thriving. For example, our Driver Safety Program has been proven to:
- Decrease collision frequency by 58%
- Reduce traffic violations by 62%
- Improve response rates by 26%
Article Sources: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, United States Department of Transportation, Truckers Insider, American Trucking Associations, Statista, Journal of Commerce, CRC Group