Large-truck fatal crash rate falls by 11%

Newly released crash data for large trucks shows 1.9 fatal crashes per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 2002, an 11% reduction from 2001, according to statistics from several agencies of the Department of Transportation. This is the lowest rate since DOT began keeping truck safety records in 1975.

The decline in the large-truck fatal crash rate coincides with a drop in truck-involved highway fatalities for the fifth consecutive year. Trucking was the only highway user group that registered a decrease in 2002.

Other statistics show that the number of large trucks registered rose to 2,276,661 in 2002 from 2,154,174.

Overall, more fuel was consumed in 2002, 26.5 million gallons in 2002 compared with 25.5 million gallons in 2001. Average fuel consumption per truck was 11,618 gallons, down slightly from 11,843.

Average miles traveled per vehicle was down almost 4% to 60,898 in 2002 from 63,404 the previous year. Figures showing “person — miles of travel” was up from 161,169 in 2001 to 163,599, meaning that each driver was logging more miles, according to estimates by the Federal Highway Administration.

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