Road User Risk with Older Light Trucks 1999-01-2258
Do older light trucks, often with second (and subsequent) owners, present a higher risk to either their own occupants or to other road users? And is the safety record for newer trucks better or worse than the record for their older counterparts? To answer these questions, fatalities in crashes involving at least one light truck were examined using the Fatal Analysis Reporting System (FARS). Fatality rates for both occupants of the light truck and for other road users (occupants of other motor vehicles, pedestrians, etc.) in these crashes were computed, based both on the number of registered vehicles and on the vehicle miles of travel.
Two trends in these fatality rates are observed. First, as light trucks age, a consistent decline is found in risk both to their own occupants and to other road users. Second, a distinct decrease is found in road user risk for newer light trucks compared to older light trucks when they were new, both for their own occupants and for other road users. Furthermore, these trends are found even when the trucks are disaggregated according to size (compact, full-size) and type (pickup, van, utility vehicle).