Fewer truck-involved fatalities

Heard the good news? According to truck Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) figures just released by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and previously released National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) data on crashes, the trucking industry is safer than ever. The truck-involved fatality rate in 2008 declined 12.3 percent to 1.86 per 100 million miles from 2.12 per 100 million miles in 2007. This decline marks the largest year-to-year drop ever and the fifth consecutive year the fatality rate has improved. Since new Hours-of-Service regulations took effect in 2005, the truck-involved fatality rate has come down more than 20 percent and is at its lowest since the U.S. Department of Transportation began keeping those records in 1975. The fatality rate has declined more than 66 percent since 1975. Persons injured in large truck crashes went from 44.4 per 100 million miles to 39.6, an 11 percent reduction. The decline can, obviously, be attributed to trucking’s commitment to safety. However, I also attribute trucking’s safety improvement to better preventive maintenance and repair. After all, no matter how well a trucker drives, he isn’t safe unless his equipment is in good operating condition. To those of you involved in vehicle maintenance and repair I say: Great job! Keep it up.