October 09, 1998
A total of 1,387 highway fatalities were reported in 1997, the highest level since the BLS fatality census began in 1992. Highway fatalities averaged 1,287 from 1992 to 1996. Highway crashes were the leading cause of on-the-job fatalities, accounting for 22 percent of the 1997 fatal work injury total.
Increases in the number of workers killed in crashes with objects on the side of the road, jack-knifing tractor-trailer rigs, and overturning vehicles were largely responsible for the rise in highway fatalities.
Ninety percent of workers killed in highway crashes were driving the vehicle at the time of the incident. Almost half of the highway fatality victims were employed as truckdrivers or in other jobs operating motor vehicles as a profession.
These data are a product of the BLS Safety and Health Statistics Program. Additional information is available from the "National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, 1997" news release.