On Friday, the American Trucking Association released a statement saying that the newly released highway fatality report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration “paints an incomplete and misleading picture of the trucking industry.”
The ATA is calling on the NHTSA to “stop lumping” trucks into the same category as non-freight-hauling vehicles. That ATA says that putting professional drivers into the same category as non-professional drivers is misleading.
“Every fatality on our nation’s highways is a tragedy, and we all have an obligation to improve highway safety. Unfortunately, the data released today is a misrepresentation of our industry’s improving safety record,” said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves. “When the public hears the term ‘large truck,’ they naturally think of the millions of large tractor-trailers that deliver their most essential goods. However, data released today lumps those tractor-trailers in with millions of smaller, non-freight-hauling vehicles whose crash rates are higher than in the trucking industry. The federal government should not be so casual with its terminology and should provide further information and clarity to the public.”
Earlier this year, ATRI found a “noticeable difference in safety trends between different truck sizes, with medium-duty generally performing worse than heavy-duty trucks. In addition, the results indicated disparities between interstate and intrastate motor carriers.”
“ATA, along with the trucking industry, has a deep commitment to improving safety on our highways,” said ATA Chairman Phil Byrd, president of Bulldog Hiway Express. “That’s why ATA has pushed the federal government to limit truck speeds and require electronic logging devices for large trucks, as well as lobbying for improved enforcement of traffic rules around our large trucks so we can all arrive at our destination safely.”
“The highways are our workplace,” said Dale Williams, a Share the Road professional driver for Trimac Transportation, “so we all need to do our part to share the road safely. That means allowing for proper following distances and safe passing, as well as abiding by all posted speed limits and other rules of the road.”