The overall highway fatality rate has dropped almost continuously since 1925, from 20 to 2.5 per 100 million miles of travel in 1984. Still, the almost 44,000 fatalities in 1984 can and will be decreased. In 1983, 5,475 of the 42,584 highway fatalities were in accidents involving medium or heavy trucks. Only 18 percent of these were occupants of the trucks themselves; 82 percent were pedestrians or occupants of the other vehicle. The greatest number of combination truck accidents takes place on two-lane rural roads. Single-vehicle accidents are responsible for 70 percent of heavy truck occupant fatalities. Doubles and heavier trucks appear to be as safe as other heavy trucks. Rollover and ejection are responsible for the greatest number of truck occupant fatalities.
When asked about her top priority as the new Secretary of Transportation, Mrs. Dole replied, “There's no higher mandate for the Department than to promote safety….”
Henry E. Seiff
Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association
International Technical Conference on Enhanced Safety of Vehicles