| February 01, 2006

Using Fatality Analysis Reporting System data, the researchers learned 42 percent more fatal crashes happen on rural roads than urban, despite an average of fewer vehicle miles traveled on country roads. Rural fatalities also have a greater likelihood of rollovers and multiple deaths.

In rural areas, large trucks were involved in 37 percent of fatal crashes, compared to only 30 percent in urban areas.

Light trucks, meanwhile, were involved in 10 percent of fatal crashes in rural areas, compared to only 6 percent in urban areas.

Other findings:

  • Head-on crashes are more likely in rural areas.

  • Rural roads posted 55 mph and urban streets posted 35 mph have more fatal crashes than roads with any other speed limit. In fact, rural roads posted 55 mph account for half of all crash fatalities.
  • Maine had the highest percent of rural crashes at 94 percent, followed by Idaho at nearly 84 percent and Kentucky at more than 77 percent. Massachusetts had the least with 20 percent, followed by Connecticut at almost 21 percent and Hawaii at almost 36 percent.

-Jill Dunn

Detroit Diesel Offers Strong Warranties on Remanufactured Engines
Detroit Diesel offers an incentive to buyers of its remanufactured engines and components. “Better warranties,” says Jim Morrow, executive vice president of Detroit Diesel and president of Detroit Diesel Remanufacturing.

For example, he said, Reliabilt Series 60 engines are covered by a standard two-year/200,000 miles cost-to coast warranty. In addition, three-year/500,000 miles extended service coverage plans are available.

Many independent engine rebuilders are unable to provide nationwide warranty coverage, said Morrow.

“With our Reliabilt products customers enjoy the original equipment quality and peace-of-mind they’ve come to expect from Detroit Diesel Corporation,” said Morrow.

DDC says it totally remanufactures engines, returning them to the latest blueprint specifications and testing them to original equipment standards. “The typical rebuilt engine,” said Morrow, “is only repaired to the level of failure. That means any components beyond this level are left intact.

“In the short run, a rebuilt engine may seem like the less expensive route to take. But in general, a rebuild will require more downtime that a remanufactured swing engine,” said Morrow. “This means more time out of service.”
- John Latta

Pennsylvania Gets Tagged for Worst Roads
For the second consecutive year and the fifth time in a decade, truckers say Pennsylvania has the worst roads in the country, according to the annual Highway Report Card survey conducted by Overdrive, sister publication of Truckers News.

Among the chief complaints: the conditions of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, I-78 and I-80 and poor signage. Owner-operator Bernard Linkhauer said Keystone State highways “will beat and bang you around.” The Pittsburgh-area resident said repairs along the turnpike amount to a Band-Aid. “It looks good, and it lasts a little while, but then it’s back to square one.”

For the second year in a row, the Lone Star state shines with the best roads. Not all truckers agree, though. I-35 to San Antonio “will tear your equipment up,” said Texan Judy Selzer.

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