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Highway Fatality Study Gives Erroneous Message About Truck Safety

November 5, 1998

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Nov. 6 – According to analysts at Hendrix Consulting, an Ormond Beach, FL-based trucking industry research firm, a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study that gives the image “of large trucks wreaking havoc on the highways is false.”
NHTSA’s 1997 data on fatal traffic accidents shows that fatalities from accidents involving large trucks are 12% of all highway fatalities. But, “in almost two-thirds of these cases, the accident report indicated that the other drivers were at fault, not the truck driver,” said Jim Hendrix, president of Hendrix Consulting. “The threat to motorists and pedestrians from large trucks ranks well behind alcohol-related deaths, behind fatal accidents attributed to speeding, behind fatalities caused by drivers failing to keep their passenger cars under control.
“No one should minimize the importance of highway safety,” he says. “We should not passively accept any highway deaths. But it is misleading and counterproductive to single out the trucking industry as the major factor behind highway fatalities.”
For more information on the Hendrix study, call Jim Hendrix or Susan Stowell at (904) 677-0118.

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