- A new report from the American Trucking Associations (ATA) says the trucking industry spends at least $9.5 billion on safety per year across four main categories.
- About 36% of that investment was in driver safety training, followed by 26% on safety rule compliance. Technology spending — such as avoidance systems, electronic logging devices and video event recorders — was responsible for 25% and the remaining 13% was for driver safety incentive pay.
- Routine maintenance costs such as brakes, tires and new trucks were not included in the $9.5 billion figure.
The ATA points to this spending as affirmation of an overall industry trend toward safety. According to data cited from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the rate of fatal crashes involving large trucks has dropped 74% since 1980 and the total number of crashes has dropped 32% as of 2013.
A new rule from the FMCSA requiring truck passengers to wear their seat belts is expected to help with crash safety. According to a 2011 study, 34% of truck occupants killed in fatal crashes weren't wearing seat belts and the FMCSA estimates that fewer passengers wear their seat belts than truck drivers.
Vehicle safety has been a main priority in the waste industry as collection continues to be one of the most dangerous jobs in the country. The National Waste & Recycling Association recently hosted its second "Safety Stand Down" of the year for employee training and multiple companies have seen results from investing in training and technology. Strategies were also discussed among industry representatives at a recent symposium in New York City.