Trucking Groups Blast Network for ‘Inaccurate’ View of Industry

A CNBC series about trucking safety was “outrageously inaccurate” and a skewed depiction of the industry, says the president of the American Trucking Associations.

Bill Graves wrote CNBC  this week to express “disappointment” over the series, sensationally titled Collision Course.

“The series portrayed our industry as egregiously unsafe, depicting the worst practices of some in our industry as endemic to how we do business,” Graves writes. “This paints an outrageously inaccurate image of an industry that moves the vast majority of the country’s goods; spends more than $7.5 billion annually on safety-related technologies and has worked to cut truck-involved crashes by 22 percent over the past decade.”

The letter opposes the reports’ suggestion that truck drivers are to blame for the 4,000 truck-related deaths per year.

“This is simply not true,” states the letter, which points out that 70 percent of those accidents are not the truck driver’s fault.

Additionally, the report intimates that an uptick in highway truck crashes is a result of the industry becoming less safe as opposed to economic growth and increased freight traffic, as the outgoing Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator Anne Ferro says is the reason.

ATA also notes crash statistics cited in the report include truck accidents other than those involving tractor-trailers moving freight on the highways, such as construction trucks and large pickups.

ATA concludes the latter by inviting CNBC producers to the upcoming National Truck Driving Championships  or take a ride with one of the industry’s ambassadors, an America’s Road Team Captain.

“I hope to see you in Pittsburgh, or at the very least, I hope that you can better educate yourselves on the issues surrounding truck and highway safety so future reports on the trucking industry will not irresponsibly portray the 7 million professionals in trucking as egregiously unsafe,” Graves writes.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association also criticized the series.

“It’s a short-sighted view that undermines efforts to bring meaningful improvements to highway safety,” says OOIDA spokesperson Norita Taylor. “Our members believe the stories do more harm than good to public safety, and want the motoring public to know that truck drivers log millions more accident-free miles than otherwise.”

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