On September 9, 2010 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released its crash statistics for 2009. Highway deaths of all types were down to 33,808, the lowest they have been since 1950. There were 3,380 in 2009. That is down 20% from 2008, and the lowest ever recorded by the Department of Transportation.
Of all types of traffic fatalities in the report large truck occupants saw the largest drop, decreasing by 26% from 2008. Fatalities resulting from alcohol-related trucking accidents were down by 14% in 2009. Trucking fatalities have dropped by 33% since January, 2004. That is when the new Hours of Service Regulations (HOS) went into effect. The American Trucking Associations (ATA) credits the HOS laws for the drop in fatalities and says it will continue to support the current regulations.
HOS regulations are still very controversial, and are often challenged. Driver fatigue is a very complex problem that cannot be fully addressed by HOS laws. Hopefully we will see more improvements in the near future that will tackle some of the other underlying issues regarding driver fatigue and trucking safety. In the meantime, it is good to see the fatalities steadily dropping.
In the state of Georgia, total fatalities involving all types of vehicles dropped by 14% and alcohol-related fatalities fro all types dropped by 18%.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a trucking accident, please contact us today. Your initial consultation is free, and we work on a contingency fee basis so you don’t pay unless you get paid.