The American Trucking Associations testified to Congress that the industry invests more than $7.5 billion in preventing crashes on the nation’s 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,” Osiecki said. “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.”
Those investments include safety training, safety-related bonuses and incentives for drivers, active safety technologies like collision mitigation, active braking and video monitoring and electronic logging devices. Trucking’s investments, Osiecki said, are only part of the solution - calling on the federal government to do more to address highway safety by addressing the primary causes of crashes.
“Driver error causes most crashes. More specifically, driver mistakes and driver misbehaviors - by both professional drivers and passenger vehicle drivers,” he said. “In fact, 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 misbehaviors by all involved in the safety equation, big safety gains are possible.”
Osiecki cited reducing speed, electronic logging and stability control rules along with aggressive on-road enforcement of driver behavior as areas the government should be focused on to improve safety.