This month the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that the number of truck driver traffic fatalities had declined 20 percent in 2009, dropping from 4,245 in 2008 to 3,380 in 2009. The reduction in large truck-related deaths is the lowest level in recorded Department of Transportation history. The results also show a 33 percent decrease in fatalities since the stricter Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) hours-of-service regulations became effective in January 2004.
In addition to the 20 percent reduction in crash fatalities involving large trucks, the number of truck occupant deaths decreased 26 percent in 2009, from 682 in 2008 to 503 in 2009. The number of truck occupants injured in truck-related crashes also declined 26 percent. Those are the largest declines among all vehicle categories.
“These latest figures illustrate the trucking industry’s deep commitment to improving highway safety,” said American Trucking Association (ATA) CEO Bill Graves. “ATA will continue to advance its progressive safety agenda in an effort to further this outstanding trend.” With the assistance of FMCSA, the trucking industry has seen dramatic drops in crash-related fatalities and injuries, and significantly improved crash rates. “Greater rest opportunities for drivers under the 2004 hours-of-service rules and a more circadian-friendly approach to a driver’s work-rest cycle have helped truck drivers achieve these exceptional results,” said Graves.
The American Trucking Association continues to support the current hours-of service rules, and will remain committed to advancing its highway safety agenda in an effort to further this outstanding trend. ATA’s 18-point safety agenda includes promoting greater safety belt use by commercial drivers, re-instituting a national maximum speed limit, improved truck crashworthiness standards, speed governing of all trucks, tax incentives for safety technologies, and a decade-long initiative to create a national clearinghouse for drug and alcohol test results.
Driving safety is an important issue to all people who on today’s roads and highways.By driving safely to prevent crashes, you can improve that image and save yourself time, money, and most importantly lives. According to a recent study conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), funded by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), implementation of driving behavior management systems using in-vehicle telematics devices can result in a significant reduction in the number of risky driving behaviors.
In particular for commercial fleet managers, utilizing a GPS fleet tracking system with industry leading telematics features for each of your fleet vehicles is an excellent way to gather crucial data needed to identify and prevent dangerous driving behavior. Implementing a GPS fleet management device and then studying the data will enable you to educate your truck drivers and make the roads safer for all of us. Not to mention you can also get an insurance discount, save on fuel costs and create a more efficient fleet.
For more information: Visit the American Trucking Association (ATA).