News recently came out from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that deaths in the U.S. from accidents involving large trucks rose to nearly 4,000 in 2012.
According to a Nov. 14 report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there was a 3.7% increase in deaths in 2012 from accidents involving large trucks. To a casual observer, this increase in number of road deaths involving may look alarming and cause concern for drivers on the road with trucks hauling large cargoes.
However, these numbers are misleading, as the American Trucking Associations’ president Bill Graves rightly pointed out in the ATA press release on the matter. Graves is quoted in the release:
“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. “
We at Calhoun Truck Lines agree wholeheartedly. There are many driving differences between our large cargo trucks and many of the medium-duty trucks on the road. There are also great differences in the safety numbers between interstate trucking vehicles and intrastate carriers.
As one of the Midwest’s largest cargo and intermodal freight carriers, Calhoun Truck Lines supports education for our drivers in our truck fleet. We teach our drivers about safety issues through our company newsletters, this blog, and policy guidelines. We strive to train our drivers for the highest levels of safety. We work directly with drivers to ensure DOT compliance and to manage our driver safety program with changing regulations. Our operation stays compliant with changing regulations from the FMCSA/DOT. Today, our drivers are well-versed in understanding driving safety regulations and how it affects them and our company.
That’s why we support the ATA’s call to segment our larger commercial load-carrying trucks vs. the smaller trucks that are included in the misleading NTHSA statistics. The ATA is 100% behind truck safety and driver safety on the roads, even calling to limit truck speeds and require electronic logging for large trucks on the road. Safety is a priority and we at Calhoun Truck Lines are in full support.