Large Trucks and CMVs
This page considers all trucks that are heavier than pickups.  While the majority of these are Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMVs), this page is not limited to just considering CMVs.
ATLAS Center Improving the Safety of Older Truck Drivers Final Report
Road freight transportation represents a long-standing transportation safety and public health problem in the United States (US). In 2014, there were an estimated 438,000 large truck-involved crashes in the US, resulting in 3,903 people killed and approximately 111,000 injured.  This report focuses of improving the safety of older truck drivers on the road.

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FMCSA Safety Program Effectiveness | FY 2012
FMCSA has published another Safety Program Effectiveness report for the Carrier Intervention Effectiveness Model (CIEM) during the 2012 Fiscal Year.

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Road Rage is Getting Worse, Not Better
The Florida Times-Union: If commuters only understood. That is the prevailing mentality of truck drivers when it comes to courtesy, and the lack thereof, on Florida’s highways. Jacksonville-based truckers say if people better understood the challenges of driving 18-wheelers, they’d be less inclined to spar with them on the roads. Lane changes and merging trigger the vast majority of road rage between trucks and other vehicles, the drivers said. That’s especially true of cars squeezing in front of tractor-trailers, forcing them to slam on the brakes.

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FMCSA Establishes National Training Standards for New Truck and Bus Drivers
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced a Final Rule establishing comprehensive national minimum training standards for entry-level commercial truck and bus operators seeking to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or certain endorsements. The standards established in today’s rule address the knowledge and skills necessary for the safe operation of commercial motor vehicles and also establish minimum qualifications for entities and individuals who provide entry-level driver training. The entry-level driver training Final Rule retains many of the consensus recommendations of a negotiated rulemaking committee comprised of 25 stakeholders and FMCSA representatives.

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Federal Register: FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse

FMCSA amends the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations to establish requirements for the Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse (Clearinghouse), a database under the Agency’s administration that will contain information about violations of FMCSA’s drug and alcohol testing program for the holders of commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs).

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Better Information Needed to Assess Effectiveness and Efficiency of Safety Interventions
GAO: In July 2010, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) chose to delay nationwide implementation of two of the eight interventions that FMCSA uses to address motor carrier safety concerns under its Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program. This delay is linked to continuing delays in developing software needed to support the two interventions, offsite investigations and the use of cooperative safety plans. The software under development is intended to help FMCSA overcome some of the information challenges it faces due to its reliance on legacy information systems. FMCSA estimates that the software development project will be completed by April 2017.

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Trucker Shortage Prompts Calls for Driverless Big Rigs
Washington Examiner: America is facing a trucker crisis. As it readies for the busy holiday delivery season, the industry is expecting to be short about 73,000 long-distance drivers, more than three times the shortage of 2005, and that could lead to delivery delays and higher shipping costs.

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Truckers Claim Speed Caps Would Do More Harm than Good
Michigan Live: In response to a national proposal to electronically limit the speed of semitrailers, some truck drivers are warning that, if enacted, it could cause more traffic issues and deadly crashes.

The Associated Press reports around 150 "independent truckers" filed comments with the federal government against the proposal from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Under the proposal, the U.S. Department of Transportation would require all new U.S.-manufactured trucks, buses and multipurpose vehicles weighing more than 26,000 pounds to come with speed limiting devices.

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HA Update notifications

U.S. DOT Proposes Speed Limiters For Large Commercial Vehicles
FMCSA: U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced today that the Department’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) propose equipping heavy-duty vehicles with devices that limit their speeds on U.S. roadways, and requiring those devices be set to a maximum speed, a safety measure that could save lives and more than $1 billion in fuel costs each year.

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National Cooperative Highway Research Program: Report 830
Multi-State, Multimodal, Oversize/Overweight Transportation

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FMCSA Launches Safety Campaign to Raise Awareness about Sharing the Road w/ Large Trucks
FMCSA: The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced the launch of its new safety-focused campaign, "Our Roads, Our Responsibility," to raise public awareness about how to operate safely around large trucks and buses, or commercial motor vehicles (CMVs).

"Trucks and buses move people and goods around the country, contributing to our economic wellbeing and our way of life," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.  "These commercial vehicles also carry additional safety risks, so it’s critical that all road users understand how to safely share the road."

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LTBP Program's Literature Review on Weigh-in-Motion Systems
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Data Improvements Needed to Enhance Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program
The quality of data used in a federal state grant program needs to improve to ensure the program’s effectiveness, the president of a leading safety group told a Senate panel on July 12.

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Sleep Apnea Problems for Drivers of Large Trucks
Feds Inching Toward Implementing Possible Sleep Apnea Screening for Truckers

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American Transportation Research Institute came out with a report on Obstructive Sleep Apnea for Commercial Drivers

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Traffic Safety Facts: Large Trucks 2014 Data
In 2014 there were 3,903 people killed and an estimated 111,000 people injured in crashes involving large trucks. In the United States, an estimated 438,000 large trucks were involved in police-reported traffic crashes during 2014.

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Passengers in Large Commercial Trucks Now Required to Wear Seat Belts
NHTSA: The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced today that passengers riding in large commercial trucks will be required to use seat belts whenever the vehicles are operated on public roads in interstate commerce.  Effective August 8, 2016, the final rule revises Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and holds motor carriers and drivers responsible for ensuring that passengers riding in large commercial trucks are using seat belts.

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ATA Page

Visitors of this page may also be interested in the ATA PAGE.
Truck Safety Coalition
The Truck Safety Coalition is a partnership between The Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH) Foundation, and Parents Against Tired Truckers (PATT). The Truck Safety Coalition is dedicated to reducing the number of deaths and injuries caused by truck-related crashes, providing compassionate support to truck crash survivors and families of truck crash victims, and educating the public, policy-makers and media about truck safety issues.

The Truck Safety Coalition can be found here.
Driver Facing Cameras May Increase Safety and Reduce Liability

There's pressure in the industry to monitor truck drivers--and drivers aren't happy. Swift Transportation, one of the nation’s largest freight trucking companies, this month began equipping its trucks with Lytx DriveCam systems including both a front-facing and driver-facing camera. Though it’s not the first truck operator to install driver cams, Swift is by far the largest to date, and pressures on the industry point towards broader adoption. READ MORE


A Comparison of CMV and Heavy Truck (CMVHT) Involved with

Non-CMVHT Involved Crashes CY2010-2014

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This abstract summarizes and IMPACT study conducted for CMV and Heavy Trucks (CMVHT) that compared crashes in which CMVHTs were involved against those in which CMVHTs were not involved.  “Involved” does not imply that the CMVHT vehicles/drivers caused the crash; the CMVHT involved subset includes both these and those in which the CMVHTs were the non-causal vehicle.  The summary of this study will be given in the categories used in performing the analysis, which are as follows:

  • Technical CMV Involved and CMV plus Heavy Truck (CMVHT) Causation. The filter applied included a combination of CMVs and other heavy vehicle.  A proportion of 54.2% of the crashes that were in the subset were reported to have been caused by the CMVHT.  An analysis of two-vehicle crashes showed that for crashes involving CMVHTs the following causation probabilities were assigned:  

    • For all crashes CMVHT caused 53.9% of the crashes;

    • For fatality crashes CMVHT cause 21.4% of the fatality crashes.

The 21.4% fault percentage for CMVHTs demonstrates that most fatal crashes involving CMVHTs are the fault of the lighter vehicles, according to crash reports – only about one in five is caused by the CMVHT, which we would anticipate that this number would be one in two.

  • Driver Behavior, Impaired and Distracted Driving.  There should be no inference that the CMVHT is (or is not) at fault because the subset is of CMVHT involved, not caused crashes.  Primary Contributing Circumstances that are least significant include DUI, CU Driver Condition, Distracted Driving.  Fatigued/Asleep is a category included in the distracted driving attribute, and it is shown to be slightly over-represented (difference is no statistically significant, as was the case with C121 above).  The number of Left Scene positives was about 11.5% higher than expected, which is significant.  Single Vehicle Crashes were significantly under-represented for crashes involving CMVHTs.  Sideswipes were seen to be an obvious problem.  Vehicle Maneuver showed that sideswipes resulting in lane changes are a major issue.  The First Harmful Event pattern that emerged is that unforced errors (characterized by single vehicle crashes) are consistently under-represented.  These unforced error type crashes most often go with alcohol/drug use and distracted driving, which attests to the professional nature of the CMVHT drivers and the time that they drive.

  • Driver Demographics.  While not over-represented the large number of young people involved shows that the dangers of risk-taking around trucks should be emphasized in whatever way might motivate young people.  It is important to recognize that this distribution is increasing by one each year, and basically is “not getting any younger.”  With increasing life spans and the necessity to postpone retirement, we can expect that the problem age group will get into the seventies over the next decade.  The number of truck drivers is relatively small up until the 31-35 age grouping.  It expands from there peaking at 46-50, and then it does not drop to a break even with the non-truck driving population until 71-75.  After that the age groups are under-represented.  While it is expected that males would be over-represented in their crash causation for CMVHT-involved crashes as compared to all other crashes, the specific degree is important to note.  Also, this is a category that needs to be watched because it is changing from year to year.  The CMVHT drivers drive up the Greater than 25 Miles frequency, but the majority of causal drivers are still within 25 miles of home, again emphasizing that the subset of concern is not isolated to CMVHT-caused crashes – in contains all CMVHT-involved crashes.

  • Roadway Characteristics.  Speed Limit shows that the problem areas are on those roadway sections that had the higher speed limits, and in particular, that had 70 MPH speed limits – that would be the rural areas.  Estimated Speed at Impact showed that the highest over-representations are where they vehicles were operating at nor near the speed limit.  However, significant over-representation occur up through 80 MPH indicating the need for speed enforcement.  As expected the Highway Classification most over-represented is that of Interstates.  This should not indicate that these highways are in any way deficient; rather, it is just that the majority of CMVHT traffic is on these roadways.  CMVHT-involved crashes were found to occur relatively proportionately more often in workzones (6.04%) than the control group (1.87%).

  • Time Factors.  Compared to other crash types that have been fairly stable with a large relative increase in 2014, CMVHT crashes were down significantly in both 2013 and 2014.  This is a very good positive development for this component of the traffic mix in a time when the economy shows signs of rebounding.  Time of Day analysis indicated that morning rush hour is a bad time, and all subsequent daytime hours through until the afternoon rush hours are high and over-represented.  The Day of the Week analysis showed that the expected Monday through Friday are high with all but Friday being over-represented significantly, since seemingly the truck drivers avoid this time of the week.  

  • Geographical Considerations.  The Rural/Urban analysis showed about 2/3rds of the crashes of CMVHT-involved vehicles occur in the urban areas, as compared to about 3/4ths of other crashes.  Those in the urban areas were shown to be of much less severity because of the lower speeds.  Rural areas of the state that are adjacent to heavily traveled urban areas tend to be consistently over-represented.  Birmingham and Mobile were at the top of the city list, while Montgomery and Huntsville are at the very bottom.  

  • Severity Factors.  The number of vehicles involved impacts the severity of the crash in that it will necessarily involve a smaller vehicle independent of causation.  Since multiple vehicle crashes are the norm for CMVHT crashes, they can be expected to be more severe.  Only about 15.2 CMVHT crashes are single vehicle as compared to 24.6% for non-CMVHTs.  As expected, the fatality probability in a CMVHT-involved crash is over twice that of other crashes (single vehicle crashes included).  The highest non-fatal severity case shows no significant difference, while the other two injury classifications are slightly but significantly under-represented.  Unexpectedly, the no-injury category was over-represented, probably coming from the large number of CMVHT crashes that occur in urban area.  All of the single and multiple fatality classifications are over-represented, and correspondingly, the No Fatalities category is under-represented.  This is expected since the typical CMVHT crash involves vehicles of extremely disparate size and weight.

  • Vehicle Factors.  It is expected that large trucks have a greater number of vehicle defects to contribute to a crash than would apply to passenger cars, and these types are anticipated to be over-represented (e.g., Tire Blowout, Wheels, Trailer Hitch, Power Train, Suspension).  While 55 crashes involving trains (11 per year) might not seem like many compared to the total CMVHT-involved crashes (41,473), the fact that they occur in three times the frequency of other crashes indicates that additional training might be warranted.  The CU vehicle in this case would be a heavy truck since the second vehicle is the train.  In addition, these crashes are quite spectacular, especially if the truck is carrying hazardous materials.

  • Roadway Environment.  Weather was not a large causal factor in CMVHT-involved crashes, about 5% under the expectation for other crashes.  However, weather combinations that involve wind were over-represented.  The weather conditions obscuring vision demonstrates that it is when the weather event is progress that the problem occurs.  Cars in the vicinity of large trucks during rain would be particularly vulnerable to this problem.

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