Trucking made Florida holidays possible

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Article by: Ken Armstrong President & CEO of the Florida Trucking Association

Dining room tables set for a family feast. Storefront displays brimming with gifts to exchange with loved ones. Communities and friends joining together for holiday traditions. Bright lights on downtown trees and wreaths on doors.

These are just some of the images I thought about during the holiday season. And no matter who you are, which holidays you celebrate or where you’re from, all of these images shared something in common – they’re all made possible by trucking.

The fact is, trucking touched every aspect of the holidays – and it went beyond stocking grocery store shelves or delivering that perfect gift.

In Florida, 84.9 percent of communities depend exclusively on trucks to move their goods. In addition to providing all those goods and cargo, trucking kept your family members moving on the roads for that special time together by ensuring our gas stations were amply stocked with fuel.

The trucking industry was proud to deliver the holidays, and we recognize the enormous responsibility that comes with it.

When more than 100 million drivers were on the road this season – as AAA forecast for year-end holidays last year – they were driving alongside nearly 3.5 million professional truck drivers, with 72,280 drivers in Florida alone.

That’s why professional truck drivers are trained and dedicated to ensuring the safety of all motorists on the road, and why the industry as a whole invests $9.5 billion each year in safety. The investment spans all facets of trucking safety, including driver training, compliance with safety rules, on-board safety technology and awards and bonus pay for improved safety performances.

There’s no doubt that the investment is paying off. The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that trucks have a crash rate that is 28 percent lower than that of other vehicles. The fatal crash rate has fallen 74 percent since 1980, and that figure has dropped 17 percent in the last decade alone.

Further, trucks are principally at fault in only 25 percent of fatal car-truck crashes. This improvement comes even as the trucking industry is expanding, by operating an additional 2.7 million trucks and driving billions of additional miles each year.

In addition to keeping our roads safe throughout the year, trucking works to better our communities. Many families and organizations answered a call to service during holidays, and the trucking industry was no exception.

From safety to service, the trucking industry was dedicated to ensuring the holidays happened for all of us. It’s the only industry that can say it directly ships to every community in America, helping to make the year brighter for all families – rain or shine.

Professional truck drivers sacrificed time with their own families to ensure our gifts were delivered, our tables were set and our roads were safe – a true embodiment of the holiday spirit.

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