Over the course of the last decade, America’s trucking services have invested billions of dollars in everything from equipment to safety training in order to improve driver safety. Now, data from the Department of Transportation has shown that this investment is paying off. The number of fatal crashes involving trucks continues to decline, even as trucking services are racking up more miles.
The American Trucking Association (ATA) has analyzed data provided by the Federal Highway Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and determined that fatalities from truck-related accidents are declining in both the short and long terms. Here are some highlights from the data:
- The number of fatalities per mile driven fell in 2015 for the second straight year
- The 2015 rate was 1.40 per 100 million miles
- The rates in 2012 and 2013 were 1.44 and 1.47 respectively
- The number of truck fatalities was down in 2014, dropping by 61 to a total of 3,903
- The number of miles driven by trucks in that same year increased to more than 279 billion.
In his official comments, ATA president and CEO Bill Graves said that, while his organization is pleased with the short-term numbers, the long-term numbers are more important. Short-term data can be affected by small changes within the industry; long-term data is more indicative of overall safety.
ATA executive vice president Dave Osiecki also commented on the report, saying that the data shows how important it is to educate both professionals and non-professionals alike. He went on to say that the ATA is pleased to know that all of the hard work and investment in safety is paying off.
Educating All Drivers
According to Graves, numerous studies show that accidents involving large trucks are initiated by truck drivers less than one-third of the time. In the past, other industry advocates have gone so far as to say just 25% of truck accidents are the fault of professional truck drivers. At any rate, Graves insists that the data proves the need for more education among the general driving public about how to more safely share the road with trucks.
As one of the largest and oldest trucking services in the country, we could not agree more with the need for more education. We are proud to be part of the effort to provide it. In the meantime, there are some important tips that professionals should keep in mind to protect themselves while on the road:
- Practice Patience – We live in a fast-paced society that does not seem to know how to slow down. One of the best things you can do to protect yourself is to be patient. Remember that car drivers have no idea how long it takes for you to accelerate, brake, or corner. Do not let agitated drivers get the best of you.
- Get Plenty of Sleep – The professional driver’s worst enemy is a lack of sleep. Do what you can to make sure you get more than enough rest before starting a trip. Pay close attention to your driving hours as well. There is no need to risk an accident by driving while tired.
- Pay Attention – Whenever you’re on the road, pay careful attention to everything going on around you. Car drivers are notoriously unpredictable, weather can change in an instant, and there’s no telling when you might witness a crash developing in front of you.
We are reducing the number of serious accidents by investing in training, education, and better equipment. Our goal is to help you work safe so you return home safely. Hopefully, the decline in truck-related fatalities will continue for years to come.
1. The Trucker – https://www.thetrucker.com/News/Stories/2016/1/14/TruckinvolvedfatalityratecontinuingtodeclineATAnotes.aspx