ATA lauds reduction
in truck-related fatalities
Aug 16, 2008 6:44 AM
The American Trucking Associations (ATA) is lauding the news that highway fatalities involving trucks were reduced in 2007 to their lowest level since 1992.
“The statistics from this most recent study show that the efforts of law enforcement agencies to focus on the most likely causes of crashes, such as speeding and impaired driving, are making our highways safer,” said ATA President Bill Graves. He also noted that the continued safety improvement occurred under the new federal hours-of-service regulations, and the new figures add to the growing evidence that the regulations are working and should be retained.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report, the overall number of traffic fatalities fell to 41,059, the lowest number since 1994. In addition, the fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled was 1.37, the lowest fatality rate on record
Also according to the study:
•The total number of traffic fatalities in large truck involved crashes decreased 4.4 percent, from 5,027 in 2006 to 4,808 in 2007.
•Truck occupant fatalities decreased 0.4 percent and fatalities for occupants of other vehicles involved in the crash dropped an impressive 5.2 percent.
•Fatalities for people who were not a vehicle occupant, such as cyclists or pedestrians, decreased 4.7 percent.
“While we are pleased that overall fatalities have decreased, we still have room to improve safe driving habits of truck drivers and passenger vehicle drivers,” Graves said.
Some of the decline in fatalities may be attributed to trucks utilizing more safety technologies such as collision avoidance, lane departure warning, stability control, and brake stroke monitoring systems. ATA is supporting a measure currently under consideration by Congress that would give tax incentives to carriers who adopt the safety technologies.
ATA also has called for a national speed limit of 65 miles per hour, and has asked the U.S. Department of Transportation to require speed governors to be set at 68 miles per hour on trucks at the time of manufacture. ATA is also encouraging states to focus on better enforcement of traffic laws that prevent unsafe driving actions around large trucks.
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