NHTSA Accident Report Spotlights Fleet Safety Successes
Mar 30, 2001 12:00 PM
The American Trucking Associations (ATA) hailed new government statistics that reveal the number of truck-related fatalities on US highways declined for the third year in a row in 2000.
According to the preliminary figures released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 55 fewer truck-related fatalities in 2000 than in 1999. The improvement in truck-related fatalities is particularly notable because it occurs at a time when overall highway fatalities are on the rise.
"We're proud of this improving record," said Walter B McCormick Jr, ATA president and CEO. "The aggressive pursuit of highway safety by our motor carriers and their professional truck drivers is job one every single day. The new numbers prove that we're making real progress. They are motivation to work even harder for safety."
McCormick also said that ATA's strong support for safety programs has added to the positive news in combating fatal truck crashes. Among them: better industry-wide driver screening and training efforts, strong support for increased and tougher roadside inspections by the states, and better targeting of high-risk carriers and drivers by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
He also cited the trucking industry's national safety outreach programs, especially the Share the Road program, sponsored by Mack Trucks Inc, the America's Road Team program, sponsored by PACCAR, Inc., manufacturer of Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks. The programs work across the country to educate drivers of passenger vehicles on how they can safely share the road with large trucks. These efforts are especially important because federal highway safety statistics indicate that up to 70% of fatal car-truck crashes occur as a result of an error on the part of the automobile driver.
NHTSA expects to issue its final report on vehicle fatalities this summer.