Truck-involved traffic fatalities fell in 2020, despite overall increase in highway deaths

Early estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that, despite a decrease in traffic and miles traveled in 2020, highway fatalities increased during the year. Fatalities involving at least one large truck, which NHTSA defines as those with a weight rating higher than 10,000 pounds, were down in 2020 despite the overall increase in traffic deaths.

According to NHTSA, an estimated 38,680 people died in crashes in 2020, an increase of about 7.2% over 2019’s 36,096 fatalities reported. Data from the Federal Highway Administration shows vehicle miles traveled (VMT) decreased by about 430.2 billion miles, or 13.2% from 2019.

NHTSA’s numbers show truck-involved crashes resulted in an estimated 4,895 fatalities, down from 5,005 fatalities in 2019.