The tractor-trailer truck involved fatality rate has decreased 14% between 2008 and 2009 lending support to the proof that current regulatory framework for truck-safety procedures is working, and also validating trucking's own internal safety efforts.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2009 there were 3,380 fatalities from 2,987 truck involved crashes. This is down dramatically from 4,245 fatalities and 3,754 truck involved crashes in 2008. The Federal Highway Administration stated that trucks traveled more than 288 billion miles in 2009 compared to 310.7 billion miles in 2008. This means that the rate of truck involved fatalities fell to 1.17 per 100 million miles which is down from 1.37 per 100 million miles or 14%.
Gov. Bill Graves, president and CEO of the American Trucking Association has said, "this is not a small decline, it is a significant amount. It makes 2009 the safest year in our industry." He did stress however that there's no one single reason for the drop. It's a decline that has been happening over the course of the last five years with a mix of factors affecting it. Some of these include improved driver-training procedures, self-imposed decline in truck highway speeds, and an increase in the spec'ing of various safety systems onboard the trucks.
The decline in fatalities is a boost to the trucking industry, providing evidence that the measures they are taking to improve safety and save lives is working. They continue to work on improving truck safety measures and improving technology on the trucks to keep the drivers and other motorists as safe as possible.
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