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2/9/2015 4:00:00 AM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

Crash Death Rate Declines

By Eric Miller, Staff Reporter

This story appears in the Feb. 9 print edition of Transport Topics.

Large trucks traveled nearly 6 billion more miles on U.S. roads in 2013 than in 2012, and did so with greater safety results, according to American Trucking Associations’ calculations of federal data.

The truck-involved crash fatality rate declined 1.6%, to 1.441 per 100 million miles traveled in 2013 from 1.465 in 2012, ATA announced in statement on Feb. 2.

The number of truck-miles traveled rose to 275 billion in 2013 from 269.2 billion in 2012, according to government data, while the total number of fatalities in truck-involved crashes grew by 20 people to 3,964 in 2013.

ATA also said the truck-involved injury rate decreased to 34.5 per 100 million miles traveled from 38.6. The large-truck fatality crash rate has fallen 39.2% since 2003 and the injury rate is down 34.2%, ATA said.

“The trucking industry’s efforts to improve safety on our highways are showing results,” ATA President Bill Graves said. “While there is still much work to do, we should feel good that because of the efforts of ATA and others in the industry, our highways are safer even as our trucks deliver more goods all across our nation.”

The Federal Highway Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have not yet published their own 2013 large-truck crash rate numbers. However, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration confirmed in a statement on Feb. 4 that the 2013 large-truck crash rate has declined.

“Our preliminary review of the data . . . reflects a decline in the fatalities-per-mileage ratio for crashes involving large trucks,” the FMCSA statement read.

The agency plans to publish data later this year that will include the 2013 large-truck crash rate.

The more miles a truck logs, the greater the statistical odds that it might be involved in a crash, said Darrin Roth, ATA’s director of highway operations.

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