In September, 2010, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced in its annual report that the number of truck-related traffic fatalities dropped twenty percent (20%) in 2009 from 2008. This is THE lowest level of trucking fatalities in recorded Department of Transportation (DOT) history. In all the years since the adoption of the 2004 Hours-of-Service regulations, there has also been an overall thirty-three percent (33%) decline in trucking fatalities.
The trucking industry is giving all the credit to the 2004 Hours-of-Service rules that address driver fatigue. These rules mandate daily, ten-hour breaks after a fourteen-hour work period. These rules also include eleven hours of driving per day in a fourteen-hour work block of time.
Lowered numbers like these illustrate the trucking industry’s commitment saving lives and lowering costs by bettering highway safety. Progress in highway safety shown in this report justifies the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association’s (FSMCA) improvement of the Hours-of-Service rules for commercial drivers and owner operators. Addressing driver fatigue in the new rules resulted in emotional drops in fatalities, injuries, and remarkably improved crash rates. In addition to the twenty percent (20%) crash fatality reduction, truck occupant deaths also decreased twenty-six percent (26%).
ALL categories in the 2010 NHTSA annual report announced historic declines across the board. The overall number of people killed in road crashes in the United States decreased to the lowest level since 1950. Record-breaking declines in traffic fatalities is especially exceptional because there were fewer deaths, but more miles traveled in 2009.
Fewer deaths and more miles traveled may average more motorists are wearing seat belts. Advertising campaigns, bells and whistles in the dash, and seat-belt laws encourage drivers to be mindful of wearing seat belts. New blood-alcohol alcohol limits, the enforcement of drunk-driving laws, the new steering column breathilizers, and other enhanced means safety features are attributable to the decline in tragic alcohol-related deaths from 2008.
Additionally, side air bags along with the frontal air bags are becoming standard equipment on many new vehicles. New electronic stability controls help motorists avoid rollover crashes in the new cars and trucks. This makes automobile and light-duty truck manufacturers deserving of product-safety praise.
In addition, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood seeks to crack down on distracted driving. He has urged states to adopt stringent new laws against sending text messages from behind the wheel and other tech-gadget distractions. LaHood’s focus on distracted driving is saving lives because of unheard of attention to distracted-driver behavior and its effects on safety. This report documents that America’s roads are safer than ever before.
Texas and Florida led in lowered fatalities, but there were also thirty-nine other states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico that saw reductions in highway fatalities. Injuries from motor means accidents fell as they have over the last ten years. Additionally, motorcycle fatalities broke a string of increases by falling sixteen percent (16%). That great report is truly a twenty-seven percent (27%) improvement.
America is improving highway safety. excursion smart. enhance engine performance. Save money on fuel. Get paid over $.50 a gallon at the pump by adding a fuel reformulator/conditioner to your tank!
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