In a study released April 20, the American Transportation Research
Institute revealed that truck drivers with certain driving records (i.e.
prior crashes, violations and convictions) are more susceptible to
being involved in a future truck crash than their peers with clean
driving records.

The analysis in the report draw on data from 582,772 U.S. truck
drivers over a two-year time frame to expose a dozen driver behaviors
that raise a driver’s risk of being involved in a truck crash by more
than 50 percent.

“This research represents a major step forward in helping carriers
sift through and prioritize the vast amount of information associated
with driver MVRs (motor vehicle records) or the new PSP (pre-employment
screening program) system,” said Keith Klein, Transport America
executive vice president and chief operating officer. “By understanding
how driver histories relate to future crash probability, carriers can
develop targeted solutions for minimizing future safety risks. It is no
coincidence that safety tends to improve as the prevalence of these
problem behaviors decline.”

The ATRI study compares the new findings to a series of parallel analysis the organization conducted in 2005, demonstrating the stability
of numerous behavior-based crash indicators. Meanwhile, differences
between the two studies highlight safety improvements the industry has
seen since 2005, including record-low 2009 truck-involved crash rates
and overall reductions in the percentage of roadside inspected drivers
found violating any of FMCSA’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.

To continue reducing the occurrence of crashes and crash-related
behaviors, ATRI reports on enforcement and industry-best practices it
says are capable of addressing the problem behaviors identified in this
study. ATRI also provides a list of “top tier” states that emphasizes
those states that have proven track records of maximizing their
enforcement resources while minimizing their share of the nation’s truck

“The enforcement community is increasingly being asked to do more
with less,” said Steve Keppler, executive director of the Commercial
Vehicle Safety Alliance. “Research such as ATRI’s ‘crash predictor
model’ can assist roadside inspectors and law enforcement officers in
targeting specific driver behaviors that are more closely associated
with increased likelihood of a future crash.”


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