According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 4,889 large trucks were involved in fatal accidents throughout 2017. While truck accidents are a significant source of danger on American highways, the federal government has not analyzed the causes of truck accidents since 2001. Since truck accident fatalities have steadily increased since 2009, a new study would help reveal why this trend exists.
Since the last accident study, the trucking industry has transformed. The FMCSA points out that, “many changes in technology, vehicle safety, driver behavior, and roadway design have occurred that affect how a driver performs.” In short, trucking has changed, and comprehensive new studies are needed to understand the transforming landscape of safety in the industry.
About the New Truck Safety Study
Now, the FMCSA has announced that it will conduct its first significant truck crash study in nearly two decades. The study is known as the Large Truck Crash Casual Factors Study (LTCCFS). It will be dedicated to identifying factors that contribute to large truck accidents. The agency is currently asking the public for opinions regarding the best ways to design and conduct the study.
The FMCSA is asking the following questions:
- Should the FMCSA pursue a nationally representative sampling approach, or can convenience sampling serve the needs?
- What type of study are you recommending (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 the findings of the original LTCCS?
- What other sources of data can enrich the new study? How can they be identified and included?
These questions will help the FMCSA determine factors that contribute to the increase in fatal truck accidents. Additionally, it will help determine what causes injury and property damage crashes. Once the study is finished, the FMCSA will be able to create targeted initiatives for making American roads safer for all drivers.