The most recent federal statistics show significant improvements in several major truck safety categories, making the 1990s the industry's safest decade ever, announced Walter B. McCormick Jr., president and CEO of the American Trucking Association (ATA).
Highlighting the truck safety success story is a 34 percent drop in the large truck fatal crash rate over the past 10 years to an all-time low. The new rate is 2.3 fatal crashes per 100 million miles traveled.
The rate of large trucks involved in injury and property damage accidents dropped 35 percent and 25 percent, respectively.
"Our responsible motor carriers and their professional truck drivers take highway safety seriously," said McCormick. "They deserve credit for making the significant safety improvements that have produced this record."
The industry's strong support for increased roadside inspections has resulted in a 46 percent drop in the number of trucks put out of service for safety defects over the last 10 years.
Drug use among truck drivers is also at an all time low. The latest random drug testing of drivers produced less than 1.5 percent positive results.
The industry also points to its outreach efforts as having a role in improving safety. ATA oversees the "How-To-Drive" program that teaches motorists how to safely share the road with large trucks.
"Though this century began without trucks, we are closing it with the trucking industry earning 82 percent of all freight revenue. This success, while at the same time pushing a strong safety agenda, motivates us to continue to work with federal and state governments to make our roads even safer for the 21st century," concluded McCormick.