Truck accident rates fall down south

WASHINGTON — Large truck fatalities in the U.S. dropped 3.7 percent to 5,018 in 2006 compared to the year before, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates in a preliminary report on traffic safety.

The NHTSA also reports that the number of persons injured in large truck-related accidents fell 0.9 percent to 113,000.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters says overall traffic deaths on America’s highways are down, but that too may lives are still lost every year on the roadways.

The overall number of road deaths is projected to have declined slightly nationwide from 43,443 in 2005 to 43,300 in 2006. But “even one death is too many,” Secretary Peters said.

Over half of passenger vehicle occupants killed died while unbuckled, the preliminary data shows. ??”Bad things happen when people don’t buckle up, and no one is immune from the damage and devastation that comes from not wearing a seat belt,” she said.

Ss the summer driving seasons south of the border starts this weekend, police officers around the country will be on patrol looking for people who aren’t buckling up, Peters adds.

She added that the U.S. DOT supports states with millions of dollars in highway safety funds annually, including the nearly $27 million being used to support seat belt enforcement efforts. ??The preliminary figures also show that between 2005 and 2006: overall alcohol-related fatalities increased 2.4 percent from 17,525 to 17,941; pedestrian deaths dropped slightly, from 4,881 to 4,768.

Starting next week, on June 6, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance kicks-off its annual Roadcheck blitz across North America.

The enforcement campaign, which targets commercial trucks for out-of-service violations, involves a 37-step procedure that includes items related to vehicle, driver and cargo safety. Seatbelt compliance is one key inspection officers will be conducting.

Have your say

This is a moderated forum. Comments will no longer be published unless they are accompanied by a first and last name and a verifiable email address. (Today's Trucking will not publish or share the email address.) Profane language and content deemed to be libelous, racist, or threatening in nature will not be published under any circumstances.