William J. Canary, president and CEO of American Trucking Associations (ATA), said on Dec. 2 that new federal highway safety statistics for 2001 show a continued reduction in the nation’s large truck fatal crash rate.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the new fatal crash rate for large trucks is 2.1 fatal crashes per 100 million vehicles-miles-traveled.
The drop in the large truck fatal crash rate coincides with a nearly four percent drop in the actual number of truck-related fatalities for 2001, the fourth year in a row this category has recorded a drop. And truck drivers continue to be the least likely to be cited for alcohol or drug use in fatal crashes where either is a factor.
The industry credits its outreach efforts as also having a major role in improving highway safety. Each year, thousands of Americans learn how to safely share the road with large trucks through the “Share the Road” program co-sponsored by ATA and Mack Trucks. Recent studies by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety show up to 75 percent of crashes between a car and a large truck result from an error by the car driver.