The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has reported that truck-involved fatalities increased, in absolute terms, by 1.9% in 2011 over 2010, from 3,686 to 3,757, even as total highway-accident fatalities declined over the same period, also by 1.9%, to 32,367. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration was anticipating that truck-related fatalities would decline by 5% during that period, based on preliminary figures, and was preparing to attribute the decline to the effectiveness of its Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program. However, the actual figures seem to undercut that point.
It may be relevant to this trend that the American Trucking Associations has pointed out that fleets are recently tending to prefer new drivers to experienced ones, because their CSA scores lack demerits. Commenting on the specific 2011 data, however, ATA observes that “even with this increase and the slight increase last year, trucking is experiencing its safest three-year record since NHTSA began keeping records in 1975.”