Trucking Industry Facts
Written by Greg on December 21, 2013
The scope of the trucking industry in general – and specifically the semi-truck industry – is sometimes easier to visualize through the use of statistics. Here are a few vital statistics about the trucking business.
*There are approximately one-half million semi-trucking companies in the United States operating 2 million semi-trucks – a majority of which are owner-operated.
*Seventy percent of freight in the United States relies on the semi-trucking industry to get from point A to point B.
*Semi-truck drivers make an average of $32,000 annually or thirty cents a mile.
*Less than five years ago the semi-trucking industry logged nearly 140 billion miles in a single year. That number climbs steadily.
*For those who think the trucking industry is not held accountable for the share of damage it inflicts on our roadways remember this data: in a single year the trucking industry contributes over 20 billion dollars to operate on our roads.
*The truckers consume nearly 54 billion gallons of fuel for business purposes.
*Less than 9% of all traffic fatalities involve a commercial vehicle or 18-wheeler. Of these accidents – 4/5 or 80% are caused by the other drivers – not the professional truck driver.
*Currently there are over 200 million licensed drivers in the United States.
*Upwards of 40,000 people are killed in vehicle collisions annually. The financial cost of this figure is approximately $5000 per second.
The trucking industry is one of the few that is expected to have sustained growth over the next 10 years. Actually, many trucking companies have difficulty keeping qualified drivers on the road.
To drive a big semi truck a truck drivers are acquired to have a commercial drivers license. While a CDL is easy to get, keep in it can be a different story.
A truck driver who has multiple accidents or tickets can have a very difficult time keeping their license and finding a place to employ them. The online availability of driving records for motor carriers has greatly aided the weeding out of problem or unsafe drivers. Nevertheless, we continue to see drivers on the road who are not qualified or properly trained to drive.
Generally, big trucks are driven by some of the safest drivers on the roadway. It is not unusual to see truck drivers who have gone a decade without a ticket or an accident. The other side of the story is the truck driver shortage is making some of companies hire less than stellar drivers, leading to more crashes.
The regulations and rules that apply to truck drivers are part of the process of letting the motor carrier and the truck driver know exactly what is expected of them safety wise. Those safety rules are more stringent than laws for everyday drivers.
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