I suppose I am not surprised by the news out of the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) reinforcing a correlation between driver behavior and future truck crashes.
ATRI’s report, Predicting Truck Crash Involvement: 2022 Update, identified more than 25 different violations and convictions that increased the likelihood of future crashes, five of which increased future crash likelihood by over 100%. Simply having a previous crash increased a truck driver’s probability of having a future crash by 113%, which is 28.4% higher than previous ATRI Crash Predictor reports.
The five behaviors that have been strong indicators of crash involvement are:
- Reckless driving violation
- Failure to use/improper signal conviction
- A prior crash
- Failure to yield right of way
- Improper or erratic lane change conviction
While none of us like to see truck crashes, I think the information in this report can be useful to all fleets in reviewing and revising our driver safety efforts in general. In the report ATRI says, “Overall, the Crash Predictor analysis provides an important safety tool for motor carriers and enforcement agencies. The Crash Predictor supports these efforts by providing statistically sound and reproducible data on what violations and convictions increase the likelihood that a truck driver will be involved a future crash.”
The report also states, “Similarly, the Crash Predictor helps motor carriers identify and focus limited resources on those truck driver behaviors that are closely associated with crashes in the future. Safety training that centers on Crash Predictor behaviors can help reduce truck-involved crashes for entry-level drivers and indicate targeted remedial training opportunities for veteran drivers.”
Four of the five behaviors on the top five list are things we focus training efforts on. Three of them involve some pretty driving basics like proper use of turn signals, yielding right-of-way, and proper lane changes. These are things that should be emphasized when training new drivers and should be reinforced in your ongoing driver safety efforts.
Reckless driving may be the result of drivers trying to get to a destination or parking spot before their hours of service expire. Make sure you are matching deliveries realistically to driver hours, so drivers are not tempted to speed—which I consider reckless driving.
Safety is something we can never pay too much attention to, and the ATRI report gives us one more reason to reach out to our drivers and reinforce our safety goals.
Similarly, the Crash Predictor helps motor carriers identify and focus limited resources on those truck driver behaviors that are closely associated with crashes in the future. Safety training that centers on Crash Predictor behaviors can help reduce truck-involved crashes for entry-level drivers and indicate targeted remedial training opportunities for veteran drivers.
Gino Fontana, CTP, is COO and EVP at Transervice Logistics Inc. Prior to this, he was VP of operations at Berkeley Division and Puerto Rico. He has more than 35 years of experience in the transportation and logistics industry with both operational and sales experience.
This blog originally appeared on FleetOwner.com.