Fatal and Serious Vehicle Crashes: Get the Facts We talk about motor vehicle accidents a lot, because there are a LOT of drivers on the road – and they don’t always do the right thing. We’ve helped countless numbers of car, truck, motorcycle and bus accident victims over the years, and we know just how dangerous the roads can be.

But you don’t have to take our words for it. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) keeps yearly information on truck and bus accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also collects data. You have the right to access this data and request information any time you want. Here are some of the sources you can use to find out just how dangerous the roads really are – in Tennessee and across the country:


  • Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). This system is managed by the NHTSA. The system only keeps track of fatal accidents.
  • General Estimates System (GES). These statistics are also kept by the NHTSA. This system is used to estimate the number of crashes – by fatality, injury, and property damage. The estimates are useful in assessing the steps needed to help reduce truck and bus accidents.
  • Crash Report Sampling System (CRSS). This is another NHTSA system which began in 2016. It is an extension of the General Estimates System. Like the GES, it examines accidents that are reported by the police. The CRSS reports incorporate demographic information and traffic data into their analysis.
  • Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS) Crash File. This system is managed by the FMCSA. The statistics are based on SAFETYNET crashes which involve commercial trucks with a GVWR of 10,000 or more pounds, commercial buses (that meet the FARS definition), and vehicles that transport hazardous materials if the transport requires placarding. Data is only kept if there is a fatality, an injury that requires immediate medical assistance, or at least one vehicle that needs to be transported away from the accident site.
  • Highway Statistics. This is a yearly Federal Highway Administration publication. It compiles information from state agencies. It includes information on vehicle miles travelled and vehicle registration. Generally, the FHWA Highway Statistics should be cited as useful statistics for accidents that happened only in 2007 or later.
  • National Transportation Library. The Library contains all the publications and research of the FMCSA.

Recent truck and bus accident trends you should know about

While there are a greater number of car and small truck accidents each year, truck accidents and bus crashes can often be more deadly and dangerous, because of the size of those vehicles, and because of the number of people who may end up being injured in a crash. We reviewed a few trends in the latest FMCSA report. Here’s what they said:

  • 4,440 buses and large trucks had fatal crashes in 2016, a two-percent increase from 2015.
  • The number of large truck and bus deaths per 100 million miles of travel increased to 1.44% in 2016 from 1.41% in 2015.
  • Large truck and bus accident injuries have increased 62% since 2009. Preliminary data from 2016 suggests that percentage Is still increasing.
  • The percentage involvement of buses in fatal crashes from 2006 to 2016 is:
    • Intercity buses. 13%
    • School buses. 40%
    • Transit buses.     34%

At the Rocky McElhaney Law Firm, we fight to help vehicle accident victims get justice. Our Gladiators in Suits are tenacious advocates. When insurance companies don’t offer the compensation you deserve, we’re ready to try your truck accident or bus accident case before a jury. To speak with one of our caring injury lawyers in Nashville, Hendersonville or Knoxville, please call us at 615-246-5549 or reach us through our contact form.