FMCSA plans new large study on truck crashes

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FMCSA StudyWASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is seeking comments from the public and trucking industry stakeholders on how best to design and conduct a new large study to identify factors contributing to truck crashes.

The last comprehensive large truck crash causation study (LTCCS) was conducted more than 15 years ago.

The latest study should yield information that will help adopt measures to significantly reduce the crash rate, the agency said in an announcement published in the Federal Register.

It said the study will help improve its ability to:

  • Evaluate crashes involving large trucks and identify emerging trends;
  • Monitor crash trends and identify causes and contributing factors; and
  • Develop effective safety improvement policies and programs.

The 2001-03 study provided valuable insight into the factors which contribute to crashes involving at least one commercial motor vehicle.

A primary finding was that in the vast majority of crashes where the critical reason for the crash was assigned to the large truck, it was attributed to a driver-related action or inaction, the agency said.

It noted that since the first research, many changes in technology, vehicle safety, driver behavior and road design have occurred that effect how a driver performs.

Fatal crashes involving large trucks decreased until 2009 when they hit their lowest point in recent years (2,893 fatal crashes).

Since 2009, fatal crashes involving large trucks have steadily increased to 4,415 fatal crashes in 2018, a 52.6% increase from 2009. And during 2016-18, fatal crashes rose 5.7%, the agency said.

“This study will help FMCSA identify factors that are contributing to the growth in fatal large truck crashes, and in both injury and property damage only (PDO) crashes. These factors will drive new initiatives to reduce crashes,” it added.

Comments must be received on or before March 16.

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  • For many years I worked as an instructor for driving safety and practical driving in the Israeli army, on all types of trucks and off-road vehicles. There are several reasons for the increase in the number of accidents.
    1. Introduction of electronic logbook.
    An electronic logbook controls the driver’s working and resting hours, limiting the time that the driver can drive the truck. But the driver’s salary depends on the number of miles that he will drive, which causes severe stress, forcing the driver to exceed speed where previously he would drive slowly and carefully. This forces the driver to drive when he is sick or tired. He does not stop during bad weather.
    And all this can be solved by banning the salary for miles, as has been done in Europe for a long time. The driver’s remuneration system should guarantee him a decent income depending on the number of days and hours spent on work, and not depending on the miles that he traveled. This is how everyone works. The seller does not earn for the amount of goods sold. The dispatcher’s salary does not depend on driver miles. So why do drivers work according to the 1938 scheme ?!
    2. The number of hours of work.
    In Europe, a truck driver has the right to work no more than 55 hours a week, and no more than 90 hours in two weeks.
    Have any of the lawmakers tried to drive a car for 11 hours every day for 6 days in a row ?!
    11 hours is the maximum allowed time, and this turned into the fact that the driver must drive.
    Drivers do not get paid for overtime, as is customary everywhere. Therefore, the driver is obligated to travel the maximum number of hours, because he earned money not for hours but for miles.
    3. Lowering the general level of drivers and the lack of testing for professional suitability.
    All of the above reasons led to the fact that the prestige of the profession of a truck driver fell to the bottom.
    This led to the lack of drivers, therefore, the level of requirements decreased. It’s simple: everyone who passes the truck test gets a license. There are no psychological tests like this in Israel and Europe, the level of driver training is comparable to the level in Third World Countries.
    Lower prestige – more accidents.
    The solution to all problems with accidents and labor shortages is a ban on salaries for miles, the introduction of overtime and limiting the length of the working day to the normal number of hours.

    • Please learn the difference between a salary and a wage, if drivers were paid a salary they would not need to hurry

  • No need for expensive studies and research.
    Make pay by mile illegal and you’ll see how truckers will stop rushing.
    When a trucker will be paid on hourly basis he won’t be rushing on the road later after he was stuck at a dock with hourly paid employees .

  • Unfortunately, this will not be allowed by companies and brokers who receive up to 40% of the commission on goods.
    They will do everything to continue the discriminatory and beneficial system of remuneration for truckers. They want to start a massive influx of cheap labor from Third World Countries by displaying a lot of fake low-priced advertisements to show a shortage of drivers. This is a well-known scheme for obtaining quotas for LMIA work visas.
    Those who work for immigration are ready to work for half a salary for a couple of years, and then leave the business. Others come.
    Many have fake seniority certificates to immigrate.
    This is an already explored scheme. In those countries you can buy any license or document.
    I myself am an immigrant, and I know what I’m talking about. But I came from Israel, where it is impossible to buy diplomas. It is necessary to turn the whole system inside out and return the prestige to truckers, as it was 20-30 years ago, when a trucker could adequately support his family for one salary.
    Driver income must be guaranteed! Ban salaries for miles and make them pay overtime, as in other sectors of the economy.
    The government should introduce restrictions on brokerage fees, which will solve the problem for companies with driver remuneration!
    This will instantly solve the problem of accidents and labor shortages.
    And no need to spend millions of dollars on research. Just need to ride a month with a trucker in the truck.

  • Eugene is bang on the reason and 100% correct. But I don’t think that agency really care about the professional driver, becoz most of the person doing the study do not have any experience in driving truck then how can we expect to see the situation from driver point of view. Only wasting of resources , time and money of tax payers.

  • There will be no verification results, there will be no ban on salaries for miles, the introduction of overtime payments and anti-discriminatory measures against truckers, the number of accidents will increase, crime will begin, and many other problems.

  • First of all, you need to look deeper for the problem, namely in the conspiracy of brokers who control all margins on goods. Break this mafia first, and put things in order there. In the end, truckers must be paid adequately, and you need to raise the prestige of the profession. Then random people will leave from this business.