Truck-Related Fatalities Fall to Record Low

The number of people killed in large-truck crashes dropped 20% in 2009 to the lowest level on record, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Thursday.

Total fatalities fell to 3,380, from 4,245 in 2008, NHTSA said. The total includes truck occupants, occupants of other vehicles and people who were not in vehicles, such as pedestrians.

The figure is the lowest since records began in 1975. Large truck occupants saw the largest decrease in fatalities among all groups tracked by NHTSA, falling 26%.

Fatalities have declined by 2,000 since the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration was created in 1999.

They have dropped by 1,855 since 2004, when the current hours-of-service regulations were put into effect by FMCSA.

Both NHTSA and FMCSA are agencies of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The numbers reported Thursday do not take into account total mileage among trucks, a figure DOT has not yet announced for 2009.

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