Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety in Work Zones Targeted Action PlanAuthor/Presenter: Finley, Melisa D.; Ullman, Gerald L.
Since 2016, over 2 percent of all fatal crashes in the United States every year happen in work zones.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting
System, 687 fatal crashes occurred in work zones in 2016. Commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) (i.e.,
large trucks and buses) were involved in 196 of these crashes (29 percent). The number of fatal work
zone crashes involving CMVs increased to 227 (32 percent) in 2017, remained relatively constant at 215
(32 percent) in 2018, and increased to 252 (33 percent) in 2019. In 2020, 774 fatal crashes occurred in
work zones. CMVs were involved in 208 of these crashes (27 percent). For comparison purposes, CMV
involvement in non-work zone fatal crashes has remained fairly constant over time at about 13 percent.
Even though there was a slight decrease in CMV-involved work zone fatal crashes in work zones in
2020, CMVs are consistently overrepresented in fatal work zone crashes compared to fatal non-work
zone crashes. Thus, there is a need to specifically address CMV safety in work zones. While many CMV
and work zone safety initiatives indirectly benefit CMV safety in work zones, this document is centered
on specific actions that can be taken to address CMV safety in work zones. The report also includes a
voluntary, targeted action plan that transportation agencies, such as State Departments of
Transportation, and other stakeholders can use to reduce the risk of CMV work zone crashes.