|Source||U.S. Department of Transportation|
|File Size||1.36 GB|
|Dates Covered||1988 to Nov. 2007|
|Buy this database||Click here to purchase and download this database|
The Truck Accidents database consists of accidents that involve commercial vehicles that weigh more than 10,000 pounds, as reported by state transportation agencies. Each state submits a report to the U.S. DOT that consists of all accident reports the state has gathered from local and state law enforcement agencies. The vehicles included in this database are buses, semis, moving trucks, rental trucks. The data of 1988 through 1999 also has details of hazardous-material carriers. The agency redacted hazardous-material information in the 2000-2006 data, citing security reasons, but a hazardous material database that has related information is available at NICAR.
Record layouts and samples of this database
|Main documentation (Readme0708.txt)||16.1 KB|
|Data sample (carsh08.xls)||114.9 KB|
|Record layout (layout0708.xls)||27.0 KB|
This tipsheet is a comprehensive guide to reporting on the trucking industry. It begins with a list of questions to ask at the beginning of an investigation, like, "Did the truck driver have a valid Commercial Drivers License?" Next, the tipsheet lists some pieces of information that reporters should be able to find before deadline, that could make their stories better. Then, the tipsheet lists possible follow - up investigations; these are more long-term projects and might make for good enterprise stories. There is a description of how to go about each investigation. Finally, the tipsheet ends with a list of contacts and government agencies that could be helpful for a reporter writing a story about the trucking industry.
The Gazette investigation found that nearly half the fatal accidents on Interstate 80 in Iowa from 1994-2001 involved semi-trailer trucks. No other interstate in Iowa had a rate that high. Traffic counts are growing on a 60-70 mile stretch of I-80 in Eastern Iowa, where many of the semi-trailer trucks are concentrated. Despite the growth in traffic, state officials have no plans to improve safety by widening the highway because traffic counts are just shy of the threshold for widening the road.
"A six-month Dateline investigation revealed an extraordinary number of eighteen wheelers driving the nation's highways with serious defects. We searched accident and inspection records of trucking companies throughout the country and spent several days at truck inspection stations and found forty percent of big rigs were so dangerous they were ordered off the road. Incredibly, the main defect we found was brake problems."
Drivers with "poor safety records and histories of drug and alcohol abuse," poorly inspected and maintained trucks and lax enforcement of safety laws are the main problems affecting the truck driving industry in the state of Texas. The Dallas Morning News investigates, spurred by the case of Miroslaw Jozwiak, a trucker who falsified his log reports before causing a fatal accident, which he survived. The stories of those who perished in the crash are told, as are those of the people who survived the crash.