According to the Dayton Daily News, Steve Owings and his family founded the Road Safe America road safety non-profit organization after his son, Cullum, was killed in an accident involving a tractor-trailer truck.
“My Son did not Pass Away. He was Killed.”
Cullum Owings and his brother, Pierce, were returning to Washington & Lee University in Virginia in 2002 after a Thanksgiving holiday when they were struck by a truck on Interstate 81.
According to the Dayton Daily News, Cullum was slowing for traffic when the truck slammed into the rear of his car, crushing him against a stone embankment. Cullum died before he could be saved from the wrecked car. His brother survived with minor cuts and bruises.
Since the death of his son, Steve Owings has been a champion for increased safety laws for the trucking industry, hoping to reduce the number of crashes and fatalities on the highways.
In an interview with the Dayton Daily News, Owings says that he and his wife learned the “horrendous” facts about the trucking safety regulations in the United States. Owings believes certain laws and technology, including speed limiting devices, will make large trucks safer.
A spokesman for the American Trucking Associations told the Dayton Daily News that since deregulation of the trucking industry in 1980, the number of fatal truck-involved crashes is down 32 percent.
Trucking Accident Statistics
The following information is provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
- An estimated 111,000 people were injured in crashes involving large trucks in 2014 – an increase from an estimated 95,000 in 2013.
- Seventy-nine percent of the fatal crashes involving large trucks in 2014 occurred on weekdays.
- In 2014, there were 3,903 people killed in crashes involving large trucks – a 2% decrease from 2013.