Fatal crash rate plummets
Dec 20, 2005 1:59 PM
The fatal crash rate for large trucks in 2004 fell to its lowest point in 30 years, according to figures released by the Department of Transportation.
“The numbers show a continuing improvement in US highway safety within the trucking industry and among our professional drivers,” said Bill Graves, American Trucking Associations (ATA) president and chief executive officer. “Motor carrier commitment to safety is making a difference for everyone.”
The lower fatal crash rate underscores the trucking industry’s continual efforts to increase safety on the nation’s highways. This includes greater education on sharing the road with large trucks and increased traffic enforcement for cars that operate unsafely around large trucks, according to ATA.
Most recently, ATA called upon the governors of 25 states to push for the adoption of primary safety belt laws in their respective states. Such regulations would allow police officers to stop and issue traffic citations to motorists failing to wear their safety belts.
ATA also expressed support for a federal regulation requiring the use of electronic on-board recorders to document driver compliance with work and rest rules, provided use demonstrably improves safety performance and compliance, along with other conditions.
Graves also credited the industry’s outreach efforts as playing a major role in improving highway safety.
The newly released Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) vehicle mileage figures, used to help determine crash rates for all vehicles, show the 2004 rate for large trucks stood at 1.96 fatal crashes per 100 million vehicle-miles-traveled. This marks the lowest rate since the Department of Transportation began tracking large truck safety records in 1975 and breaks the previous low of 1.97 fatal crashes per 100 million vehicle-miles-traveled in 2002.
The record-low improvement in the fatal crash rate comes despite an increase in the number of vehicles on the road. According to the FHWA, there were nearly 6.3 million more registered cars and trucks in 2004 than in 2003.
© 2013 Penton Media Inc.