Truck-involved fatality rate drops in 2007

Figures released by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) indicate that the nation's truck-involved fatality rate in 2007 declined 5.8 percent to 2.12 per 100 million miles from 2.25 per 100 million miles in 2006.

Since new hours-of-service regulations took effect in 2005, the truck-involved fatality rate has fallen more than 10 percent and is at its lowest since records began to be kept in 1975.

Truck-involved fatal crash and truck-occupant fatality rates also fell from 2006 to 2007. The truck-involved fatal crash rate dropped 4.5 percent to 1.85 per 100 million miles, and the truck-occupant fatality rate went down 1.98 percent to 0.35 per 100 million miles.

These crash rates are based on the FHWA's figures that report vehicle miles traveled by truck increased in 2007 to 226.96 billion miles from 222.5 billion in 2006. During that same time, the actual number of truck-involved fatal crashes fell to 4,190 from 4,321.

Augmenting an established platform of safety initiatives, the American Trucking Associations unveiled a highway safety agenda in October 2008 designed to further reduce the number of highway-related fatalities and injuries for all drivers on the nation's highways.

The 18 safety recommendations include promoting greater safety belt use by commercial drivers; reinstituting a national maximum speed limit; speed governing of all trucks; and a decade-long initiative to create a national clearinghouse for drug and alcohol test results.

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