Press Room

Truck Crash Study

ATA Reacts to FMCSA Statement Regarding Large
Truck Crash Causation Study

Friday, March 24, 2006 (American Trucking Association) –Alexandria, Va. — For some time ATA has regarded car and truck driver behavior as the one area most in need of attention when it comes to improving highway safety.

This comprehensive, multi-year study confirms our longstanding view of crash causation research: that car driver or truck driver action (or inaction) is a critical reason for the vast majority of crashes. Stated another way, vehicle and environmental factors are rarely the primary or critical reason for crashes involving cars and trucks.

This new FMCSA research also confirms the findings of earlier studies that car drivers are coded more frequently than truck drivers for both driving performance errors and nonperformance problems (e.g., sick, asleep, etc.). This is a clear indication that, in order to continue to improve truck safety, government and law enforcement agencies need to expand their resources and enforcement efforts at this group of drivers, focusing more on unsafe driving behaviors around large trucks, as the industry continues its own truck safety efforts.

Of especially good news for trucking, the study strongly reconfirms our positive record of negligible illegal drug or alcohol abuse. Interestingly, the study also finds that driver fatigue, as a crash factor, was recorded more often for car drivers than for truck drivers. In the end, we agree with FMCSA that “more data analysis is necessary” to reach additional conclusions about the reasons and factors for large truck crashes.

In the mean time, the trucking industry will keep working everyday to make our highways safer for all motorists.

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