FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 11, 2021
Contact: Jordan Burns
Washington, DC — The Truck Safety Coalition (TSC) is deeply concerned to see industry and news media promote teen trucking as the panacea to alleviate the supply chain crisis in time for the holidays. The Bureau of Labor Statistics routinely reports truck divers as having one of the deadliest professions in the country with fatalities rising year over year with truck drivers 6x more likely to be killed on the job compared to other workers. 1 To no one’s surprise, research indicates that 18–21-year-old drivers have higher crash rates than older drivers and experience fatal crashes 4x more than all other drivers2. The only thing worse than empty shelves over the holidays is having an empty seat at the dinner table instead.
Russ Swift, TSC Board Member and Parents Against Tired Truckers (P.A.T.T.) Co-Chair echoes this sentiment, having needlessly lost his son Jasen in a violent truck crash caused by a 17-year-old trucker. “It is reprehensible that the Trucking Industry would exploit our supply chain problems and put profits ahead of highway safety by promoting the ill-advised interstate commercial teen trucking pilot. Car rental agencies will not rent to anyone under 23 for a reason. Teen driver’s auto insurance is incredibly expensive for a reason. It is because teen drivers are statistically less safe and are in more accidents. No amount of compensation can bring back my son following his preventable crash. Allowing teen truck drivers to operate on our interstate highways will cause historically high truck crash numbers to rise even further. Now is the time to put the brakes on teen trucking. When, not if, the next crash occurs, I pray it won’t be your loved one.”
Truck crash deaths have fast become a silent crisis that continues to increase the past ten years. In 2020, nearly 5,000 people were killed in crashes involving a large truck, an unacceptable increase of 45% since 2009. Additionally, 159,000 people were injured in crashes involving a large truck in 2019, the most recent year for which data is available. Tragically, new data released from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) shows nearly a 20% increase in motor vehicle crash fatalities in the first half of 2021, the largest 6-month increase in recorded history. It is widely expected to see truck crash deaths and injuries to continue to rise accordingly. In fatal crashes between a commercial motor vehicle and a car, 97% of the deaths are the occupants of the passenger vehicle.
This holiday season, lets prioritize keeping our loved ones safe and refrain from pushing our children into one of the deadliest professions, risking the lives of all roadway users in the process. Plenty of non-lethal options exist to alleviate the supply chain crisis. To learn more about the Truck Safety Coalition and data-driven solutions to make our roads safer, visit www.trucksafety.org. TSC relies on the generosity of its donors to provide compassionate outreach and support to truck crash victims and amplify their voices to educate others about truck safety needs.
The Truck Safety Coalition (TSC) is a partnership between Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH), also known as The CRASH Foundation, and Parents Against Tired Truckers (P.A.T.T.). The Truck Safety Coalition is dedicated to reducing the number of deaths and injuries caused by truck-related crashes, providing compassionate support to truck crash survivors and families of truck crash victims, and educating the public, policymakers and the media about truck safety issues. Visit our website at https://trucksafety.org and donate today to help us make the world a safer place for all.