Annual Truck Driving Championship Focuses on Trucking Safety

For more information contact:
Kimberly Gonzalez, Hoffemeier Trucking, (918) 428-6195
Shaundra North, Koch Communications (405) 219-7712

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MAY 24, 2011

Annual Truck Driving Championship focuses on trucking safety within state’s $3.6 billion dollar industry
Competitors combine for more than 140 million accident-free miles

OKLAHOMA CITY – More than 100 truck drivers from across the state will compete for the title of ‘King of the Road’ during a two-day competition in June held in Oklahoma City. Organized by the Oklahoma Safety Management Council and the Oklahoma Trucking Association, the 2011 Annual Truck Driving Championship will test the drivers’ knowledge of and ability to perform trucking safety practices and procedures. This year’s competitors combine for more than 140 million accident-free miles throughout their careers.

The OSMC sponsors the annual truck driving challenge as a way to highlight the industry’s ongoing efforts to keep themselves and all motorists safe on the state’s roadways, said Kimberly Gonzalez, Truck Driving Championship chairwoman. She said the biggest hurdle facing truck drivers on the roads is anticipating the other motorist’s next move.

A recent national survey revealed that nearly 80 percent of all truck-involved accidents are caused by the motorist operating the passenger vehicle, not by the truck driver.

“Not only do truck drivers have to worry about maneuvering their vehicle on the roadways, they also have to anticipate the other drivers’ moves,” said Gonzalez. “Trucks are carrying thousands of pounds of goods and cannot come to a complete stop at a moment’s notice. It takes a fully-loaded truck traveling at 65 miles per hour more than the length of a football field to stop. If more motorists understood that fact, they would think twice about swerving in front of it on the highway.”

Dan Case, Oklahoma Trucking Association executive director, said the state’s economy heavily depends upon the state’s truck drivers. The industry creates more than 82,000 jobs from 4,500 companies based in Oklahoma, which contributes more than $3.1 billion in salaries.

“Our state’s economy would be crippled without the men and women who transport our groceries, clothes, and oil and gas throughout our state,” said Case. “About 75 percent of Oklahoma communities rely exclusively on goods transported to them via truck. Without these vehicles on our roadways, many of us would not enjoy the lifestyle to which we are accustomed.”

In addition to the jobs and salaries, Case also said trucking companies paid 41 percent of the total state and federal highway taxes and fees in Oklahoma, despite representing only 16 percent of the vehicles on the road.

Gonzalez also said spectators are welcome to attend the closed-course, driving challenge portion of the competition that takes place Saturday, June 4 from 8 a.m. to noon. Other phases of the competition include a written exam comprised of 40 multiple-choice questions, a one-on-one interview and pre-trip inspection, which is judged by Oklahoma Highway Patrol Troop S members.

The OSMC’s 2011 Truck Driving Championship will be held June 3 and 4 in Oklahoma City, with the actual driving course located on the OSU-OKC Precision Driving Center at 3501 West Reno. The closed-course, driving challenge will take place Saturday, June 4 from 8 a.m. to noon. This challenge portion of the event is open to spectators and there is no ticket fee. For more information about the OSMC and the competition, visit www.oksafetymanagementcouncil.com or call the Oklahoma Trucking Association at (405) 525-9488.

About Oklahoma Safety Management Council
The Oklahoma Safety Management Council is comprised of safety professionals from around the state. Through expert education and practical application, the council’s professionals are committed to highway safety and are dedicated to the transportation industry.Visit www.oksafetymanagementcouncil.com for more information.


About Oklahoma Trucking Association
The Oklahoma Trucking Association is a non-profit, full-service trade association formed to promote and protect the interests of the trucking industry within Oklahoma. OTA is committed to helping the state’s truck driver navigate compliance and enforcement regulation from local, state and national government. Visit www.oktrucking.org for more information.
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