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ATA accused of shifting blame to other drivers in car-truck crashes

The Truck Safety Coalition, an advocacy group working to increase safe driving practices in the trucking industry, recently got upset over a report published by the American Trucking Associations. That report, according to the Truck Safety Coalition, essentially attempted to blame car drivers for the majority (80 percent) of car-truck accidents.

In response, the Truck Safety Coalition reportedly sent a letter to ATA President Bill Graves, as well as the association’s chairman, accusing the association of misinterpreting and misusing the report. That report, it is said, was primarily intended to make a point about the lack of crash accountability and fault in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability program.

The report specifically looked at a group of studies performed over the last ten years conducted at the University of Michigan, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

The Truck Safety Coalition says, however, that those studies were misused in order to put blame upon drivers of cars and light trucks and to divert attention away from the unacceptable fatality rate among occupants of cars and light trucks in two-vehicle truck-car crashes. As the Truck Safety Coalition pointed out in its letter, 97 percent of those who die in such accidents are the occupants of cars and light trucks.

It isn’t clear how the ATA will respond to the allegations, but it is a bit disconcerting that a group that stands as a major representative of the trucking industry would attempt to shift attention away from the unacceptable number of fatalities involved in truck accidents. Obviously, when a car and a semi collide, it isn’t the truck driver who is going to fare worse. This is serious business for all of us who driver on our highways and interstates.

Source:, “Truck Safety Coalition takes ATA to task over crash faults report,” James Jaillet, February 26, 2013