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Trucking group hails drop in deaths from truck-involved crashes

The head of the American Trucking Association declares the data to be of "paramount importance." What he's talking about is his own organization's analysis of federal data that suggests that rates of fatalities in truck-involved accidents are down for the latest two consecutive years for which information is apparently available.

According to the ATA's review of Federal Highway Administration and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, the rate of deaths fell to 1.4 for every 100 million truck miles traveled in 2014. A year-to-year comparison of truck-involved fatalities shows that in 2014 there were just over 3,900 deaths -- 61 fewer than occurred in 2013. Meanwhile, the number of miles racked up nationally by big rigs increased to above 279 billion.

The organization makes a point of noting that the data represents the number of deaths in all accidents involving trucks. It does not parse out who was responsible for the crashes, perhaps because of negligence or recklessness. Though it does acknowledge that historically truckers are estimated to have caused just about a third of all such fatal crashes.

The ATA is proud of the numbers, perhaps justifiably. It says the trucking industry has spent billions of dollars trying to reduce accidents and the data shows that the investment is paying off over the both the short and long terms.

This is bound to be welcome news for drivers across Texas and the rest of the country. But all too many fatalities due to trucker negligence or recklessness still happen. When they do, loved ones seeking just compensation would do well to seek the help of a skilled legal counsel.

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