The American Trucking Associations (ATA) told Congress today that the trucking industry invests more than $7.5 billion every year in preventing crashes on US highways.
“The trucking industry places safety at the top of its priority list,” ATA executive vice-president Dave Osiecki told the Senate Commerce Committee’s subcommittee on surface transportation and merchant marine infrastructure, safety and security. “Our industry spends more than $7.5 billion each year on safety, and that investment is making a difference.”
He pointed out that over the past decade the number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes has dropped 17% – even with the industry operating an additional 2.7 million trucks and driving an additional 54 billion miles. “More trucks, billions more miles, fewer crashes.”
The $7.5 billion in investments goes towards things like safety training, safety-related bonuses and safety technologies. Osiecki said the investments are only part of the solution and called on the federal government to do more to address the causes of crashes.
“Driver error causes most crashes. More specifically, driver mistakes and driver misbehaviours – by both professional drivers and passenger vehicle drivers,” he said, pointing out that behaviour and actions of car drivers contribute significantly to truck crash numbers.
“If the regulatory, enforcement and safety program lens is focused properly on the most common mistakes and misbehaviours by all involved in the safety equation, big safety gains are possible.”