The ATA says the number of fatal truck crashes per million miles traveled is at its lowest point since the U.S. Department of Transportation started keeping truck safety records in 1975.
Last year, 5362 people died in large truck crashes, a slight decrease from 1998 numbers that caused a furor of attention to truck safety on Capitol Hill. However, ATA's figures show an even bigger drop in the fatal crash rate: 2.28 fatalities per million truck miles traveled, compared to 2.5 in 1998. This number has dropped significantly from the 3.5 per million miles in 1989.
The ATA obtained the new vehicle mile statistics from the research office at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. They have not yet been officially released.