Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta today saluted the safety, security and economic contributions of America's truck drivers in recognition of National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, which runs from Aug. 18-24.

"The trucking industry is an essential component of our American economy, and we greatly appreciate the hard work and the important contributions of the 10 million men and women who work in the industry," said Mineta.

Mineta also said he is grateful that the trucking industry has been assisting in efforts to enhance U.S. security following the September 11th terrorist attacks.

According to the U.S. Dept. of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics, trucks carry 60% of the nation's domestic freight as measured by weight and 62% as measured by value. The trucking industry's contribution to the Gross Domestic Product is more than $260 billion, including both for-hire and private trucking.