Thursday, June 9, 2011

American Trucking Groups Call for Research on Freight Truck Crash Safety

ATA and OOIDA Combine on Call for Improved Standards
Shipping News Feature

USA – The American Trucking Associations (ATA) and the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) have together called for the U.S. government to begin research so as to bring the crash survival standards as applied to automobiles onto heavy freight trucks.

Representing hundreds of thousands of truck drivers between them, the ATA and OOIDA are particularly keen to raise the issue of disparity between truck and smaller vehicles safety systems.

In a letter to David Strickland, head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the two organisations said that:

“The NHTSA has continuously developed crashworthiness standards for automobiles and light trucks, but to date has generally not applied crashworthiness standards to commercial trucks.

“We believe there may be opportunities to enhance the survivability of professional truck drivers if appropriate, research-based, uniform standards are developed.”

The two organisations are campaigning for a number of safety features that are generally considered standard on cars and vans, to be applied to America's trucks.

Amongst their suggestions are occupant restraints and protection such as safety belts and airbags, as well as improved cab structures, strengthened windshields and doors to prevent occupant ejections during crashes and greater thought to interiors to stop injury.

“Making our highways safer, especially for our drivers, is one of ATA’s highest priorities,” ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said.

“ATA has made setting crashworthiness standards a part of our progressive safety agenda and we’re proud to stand with OOIDA in calling on the federal government to take these important first steps that will reduce injuries and fatalities among America’s professional truck drivers.”

Todd Spencer, Executive Vice President of the OOIDA, said that:

“We are more than glad to join ATA in making this request to hold the safety of professional truck drivers to as high a standard as all other motor vehicle users.

“The most valuable, even most precious, cargo truckers haul is themselves and it’s time that our standards reflect that value.”