Newly-released crash data for large trucks shows 1.9 fatal crashes per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 2002, an 11 percent reduction from 2001, according to statistics from several agencies of the Department of Transportation. This is the lowest rate since DOT began keeping truck safety records 1975.

Other just-released statistics showed that the number of large trucks registered increased to 2,276,661 in 2002 from 2,154,174.

Overall, more fuel was consumed in 2002, 26.5 million gallons in 2002 compared to 25.5 million gallons in 2001 and average fuel consumption per truck was 11,618 down slightly from 11,843. Average miles traveled per gallon was down slightly to 5.2 in 2002 versus 5.4 for 2001.

Average miles traveled per vehicle was down almost 4 percent to 60,898 in 2002 from 63,404 the previous year. Interestingly, figures showing ‘person-miles of travel’ was up from 161,169 in 2001 to 163,599, meaning that each driver was logging more miles, according to estimates by the Federal Highway Administration.