New statistics released Jan. 21 by the U.S. Department of Transportation show continued major improvement in highway safety for the nation’s trucking industry.
According to the DOT, the new fatal crash rate for large trucks is 1.9 fatal crashes per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, an 11 percent reduction from the previous year. This puts the rate at its lowest point since the DOT began keeping large truck safety records in 1975.
“The trucking industry and our drivers continue to work hard every mile, every day to make our highways safer,” said Bill Graves, president and CEO of the American Trucking Associations. “Their commitment is making a difference.”
The drop in the large truck fatal crash rate coincides with a decrease in the number of truck-involved highway fatalities for the fifth year in a row. In 2002, trucking was the only highway user group to record a decline.
Along with a strong focus on highway safety by its member motor carriers and their professional truck drivers, ATA credits trucking industry safety outreach efforts with a role in the decrease. Each year, thousands of motorists across the United States learn how to safely share the road with large trucks through the “Share the Road” program sponsored by Mack Trucks and ATA.
Affected trucks include model year 2008-2018 Freightliner Cascadia and Western Star 4700, 4900, 5700 and 6900 trucks. DTNA says after hard brake applications, the brake light pressure switch may not activate the brake lights with the light application of the brake pedal.