Trucking's $9.5 billion investment in safety pays off, ATA reports

Trucking's $9.5 billion investment in safety pays off, ATA reports

Spending goes to safety tech, driver training and rewards, compliance

The trucking industry invests at least $9.5 billion in safety annually, according to a new report by American Trucking Associations.

“We know this industry prioritizes and invests in improving safety on our nation’s highways,” said ATA Executive Vice President of National Advocacy Dave Osiecki. “With the results of this survey, we now can put a dollar figure on that investment and that figure is significant.”

The $9.5 billion annual figure breaks down over four broad categories:

  • On-board Technology: Collision avoidance and mitigation systems, blind spot warning systems, stability control, video event recorders, electronic logging devices and other safety technologies.
  • Driver Training: Safety training, staff wages and consultants, safety retraining and coaching and hazardous materials training.
  • Safety Pay: Awards and bonuses based on improved safety performance.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Motor vehicle and driver record checks, drug and alcohol testing, voluntary safety audits, safety staff wages and benefits as well as safety consultants.

Additionally, the $9.5 billion figure does not include general and routine maintenance costs such as purchasing new brakes, tires or trucks, which would increase the total significantly.

And the trucking industry’s investment in safety is paying off, the report points out. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, from 1980 through 2014, the number of large truck-involved fatal crashes declined 32% while the large truck-involved fatal crash rate per 100 million miles dropped a remarkable 74%. Trucks have an overall crash rate 28% lower than that of other vehicles.

“Before this survey, we were only able to conservatively estimate our industry’s commitment to safety,” said ATA First Vice Chairman Kevin Burch, president of Jet Express. “Now, thanks to the efforts of ATA, we can see just how much our industry is investing in safety as well as the results of these investments – improved safety for all motorists.”

For a one-page summary of ATA’s Safety Investment Study, click here.

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