Not a single fatal crash involving a rental truck over a five-year period (2005-2010) has been attributed to a safety or maintenance defect in the rental vehicle, according to a study released by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The study claims that there were a total of 145 daily rental trucks involved in fatal crashes during this period. The same federal study identifies over 10,000 non-rental trucks involved in fatal crashes during the same period of which between 2-6 percent were caused by a problem with the vehicle.
The federal study also details that only 2.8 percent of rental trucks weighing between 10,000- and 26,000 -pounds GVWR were placed out of service based on vehicle inspections. The study compares that number to 22.7 percent of non-rental trucks in the same weight classes being placed out of service.
This glowing reflection of the rental truck industry's safety record was released as part of a study requested by U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) through a provision in the federal highway bill passed in 2012 known as the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21). Senator Blumenthal requested the study after a fatal accident involving a rental truck in his home state. After a thorough and exhaustive investigation into that accident, it was determined that driver error was the main cause of the crash, and there were no safety defects related to the truck itself.