Crashes involving large trucks drop, NHTSA says

| 8/9/2002

U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports crashes involving large trucks dropped from 5,282 in 2000 to 5,082 in 2001.

However, the total number of people killed in highway crashes in 2001 was 42,116, compared to 41,945 in 2000. Despite that statistic, motor vehicle crashes in 2001 claimed the lives of fewer children ages 15 and under than any time in record-keeping history.

"Though the loss of more than 42,000 people is unacceptable, the news about the nation's young people is positive," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta. "Clearly, parents and caregivers are getting the message about the importance of proper restraints for children of all ages."

The 2001 statistics showed an increased risk of death and injury when drivers and passengers do not wear seat belts or fail to have their children properly restrained in child safety seats: 60 percent of the passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes last year were not restrained.