Study to reduce trucking accidents
Motor vehicle accidents are an unfortunate by-product of driving and fatal crashes among large trucks have risen steadily in the past decade.
The FMCSA seeks to reverse this trend by conducting a study aimed at identifying and reducing factors that contribute to these fatal truck accidents.
Previous crash study findings
In a 2001-2003 Large Truck Crash Causal Factors Study (LTCCFS), the FMCSA gained vital information on crash factors. The study found that, when fault was assigned to the large truck, the cause of a vast majority of crashes were driver related. In these cases, it was determined that either driver action or inaction resulted in the crash.
Following this 2001-2003 study, fatal crashes decreased, hitting a low in 2009. However, since 2009, fatal crashes began to increase at a steady rate. By 2018, large truck crashes with at least one fatality or evident injury had increased by 52.6% compared to the 2009 figures.
This continued increase in fatal large truck crashes has the FMCSA seeking answers and calling for a new study to be conducted in an effort to reduce crash factors.
Industry changes may impact crash statistics
It’s been fifteen years since the original crash study. Technology has changed. Driver behavior has shifted. Roadways have been redesigned. And vehicle safety guidelines have been revised. Any one or all these changes could affect driver performance.
Because there are so many potential factors, a new study is needed to determine which factors are indeed contributing to fatal and injurious crashes. The new in-depth study is intended to evaluate crash factors, identify trends and develop safety improvement policies.
Potential new crash factors that need to be assessed in this proposed study include:
- cell phone and texting distractions
- driver restraint use
- in-cab navigation systems
- fleet management systems
- automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems
Data collection through driver assistance systems
The previous study was conducted via data collection by a two-person team through interviews and investigations of up to 1,000 elements of a crash. One goal of this new study is that the current driver assistance systems installed in many fleets will provide additional useful data.
FMCSA calls for proposals to conduct new study
The FMCSA seeks industry input in designing their new study and are currently accepting submission of comments and related materials so they can plan how to design and conduct this new large truck crash factor study.
Visit www.regulations.gov and follow the instructions to submit any suggestions.
Per the FMCSA request for information, submissions should answer these questions:
- Should FMCSA pursue a nationally representative sampling approach or can convenience sampling serve the needs?
- What type of study are you recommending (e.g., nationally representative vs. convenience sampling), and what are the pros and cons of this approach?
- How important is it for the new study results to be comparable with findings of the original LTCCS?
- What other sources of data can enrich the new study? How can they be identified and included?
Submissions are open until March 16, 2020.
Use Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Docket ID FMCSA-2019-0277 when submitting proposals, comments, and materials.
Submit via the following methods:
- Federal eRulemaking portal: Visit www.regulations.gov and follow the on-line instructions for submissions
- Mail: Docket Management Facility; US Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001
- Hand delivery or courier: West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays
- Fax: 1-202-493-2251
Hopefully, with enhanced data collection, and the support of submissions from the industry, the sobering upward trend of fatal large truck crashes can be reversed and reduced to create a safer roadway for everyone.
Safety is our priority
Safety is the most important thing when it comes to truck driving. We offer a long list of DOT related training for all levels of experience, including full new driver training, defensive driving, accident procedures, full CDL driver training and so much more.
In any of our DOT training programs, safety is our priority.
A proposed federal rule that would give the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration another means to score and target unsafe carriers has cleared the White House’s Office of Management and Budget.
The so-called Safety Fitness Determination Rule cleared the OMB late last week and is now in the hands of the DOT, ready for publication as a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking when it chooses.
Since this is the proposed version of the rule, there will be a public comment period, likely either 60 or 90 days, following its publication. FMCSA will then begin work on a final version of the rule and send it down the regulatory pipeline for publication, a process that could take several years to complete.
The DOT has been working on the rule since 2007. Few details are known about what it entails. According to the agency’s regulatory summary, it would give FMCSA a new system to “determine when a motor carrier is not fit to operate.” The safety determination, however, would be in part based on the BASIC categories in the agency’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability program, and it’s unclear whether recent Congressional action to remove CSA rankings from public view will impact the SFD rule.
Language in the highway bill expressly prohibited use of SMS BASIC “alerts and the relative percentile for each BASIC developed under the CSA program” to be used for carrier Safety Fitness Determinations until FMCSA acts on the required revamp of the CSA program. The highway bill directed the agency to, within 18 months, commission a study by the National Academies to recommend improvements to the CSA SMS, with implemented changes then following before returning the SMS to public view.
The NPRM will likely be published before year’s end.
If you have questions about this, please do not hesitate to contact CNS. It is important that you understand what this could mean for you and your business.
During the week of Oct. 18-24, 2015, law enforcement agencies throughout North America will engage in heightened traffic safety enforcement and education aimed at unsafe driving behaviors by both commercial motor vehicle drivers and car drivers as part of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) Operation Safe Driver Week.
According to CVSA,12,502 people were killed and more than 287,000 were injured in crashes involving at least one large truck or bus between 2011-2013 in the United States. More than 70 percent of the deaths and injuries from these crashes were from multi-vehicle crashes with cars. Many of those accidents are the direct result of the drivers – both commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers and car drivers. CVSA’s Operation Safe Driver program was created to help to reduce the number of crashes, deaths and injuries resulting from crashes involving large trucks, buses and cars.
During Operation Safe Driver Week, activities will be held across the United States, Canada and Mexico with the goal of increasing commercial vehicle and non-commercial vehicle traffic enforcement, safety belt enforcement, driver roadside inspections and driver regulatory compliance.
In addition to enforcement, education is an important component of Operation Safe Driver Week. Law enforcement and transportation safety officials will offer educational and awareness safety programs to the motor carrier population and the motoring public.
Last year, during the week-long campaign, law enforcement officers pulled over 59,080 commercial vehicle drivers and car drivers for unsafe driving behaviors. Data was collected by 4,337 law enforcement officials at 1,549 locations across the United States and Canada. There also were outreach events throughout the week at high schools, state capitals, state fairs, truck rodeos, sporting events and other locations.
The top five warnings and citations issued to CMV drivers were:
- failure to use a safety belt
- failure to obey traffic control devices
- improper lane change
- following too closely
The top five warnings and citations issued to passenger car drivers were:
- failure to use a safety belt
- failure to obey a traffic control device
- possession/use/under the influence of alcohol
- improper lane change
Operation Safe Driver Week is sponsored by CVSA, in partnership with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and with support from industry and transportation safety organizations, and aims to help improve the behavior of all drivers operating in an unsafe manner – either by or around commercial vehicles – and to initiate educational and enforcement strategies to address those exhibiting high-risk behaviors.
To find out about Operation Safe Driver Week educational and awareness events going on in your state, contact a representative from CNS at 1-888-260-9448.