The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) publishes a periodical called “Guardian”. In the most recent edition, there is a feature article titled “Three Years of CSA Brings Impressive Safety Accomplishments: FMCSA Program Engages Stakeholders in Saving Lives”
The article, which can be found in it’s entirety by clicking HERE, lists a series of notable accomplishments:
“Data from roadside inspections show motor carriers and drivers have improved their safety compliance. Additionally, vehicle and driver violations per roadside inspection are on the decline.
“…(FMCSA) shut down 52 bus companies and placed 340 operators out of service. Inspectors targeted these carriers for investigation using the CSA prioritization protocols.
“CSA interventions range from warning letters for carriers with emerging problems to Onsite Comprehensive Investigations for carriers with serious compliance issues.
“…FMSCA has sent warning letters to more than 86,000 carriers, alerting them to safety performance problems”
“Motor carrier awareness is at an all-time high with 68 million visits to the CSA’s Safety Management System (SMS) site – 20 million over the year before and twice the number of visits [from] two years ago.
“…data from at least 3.5 million inspections and 130,000 Police Accident Reports fee into the SMS to identify noncompliant and at-risk carriers.
What’s coming next? The FMCSA is working on two new studies: one to validate whether the current models are properly prioritizing the carriers with the highest risk to safety, and the other examines the effectiveness of current interventions — are the interventions having the right impact? Also scheduled for later this year is the expectation that the Safety Fitness Determination (SFD) rule will be published allowing more carriers to be targeted and removed from service.
From a carrier’s perspective, it’s important to be keenly aware of your present BASIC scores, and be working on ways to keep those scores as low as possible. The Bookend BASICS are key to keeping everything under control (Unsafe Driving and monitoring your Crash Rates). We’ve previously published articles on these “Bookend BASICs” at this site.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has just released the “Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts 2011” report which examines statistics about fatal, injury, and property damage only crashes involving large trucks and buses that occurred during 2011.
This is an annual publication and it is organized into four key chapters:
Trends (compare 2011 against other time periods),
Crashes (counts number of incidents),
Vehicles (counts vehicles in crashes — single versus multiples, etc.), and
People (counts persons of all types (passengers, pedestrians, etc.) involved in crashes).
Highlights from Trends:
In 2011, 3,608 large trucks were involved in fatal crashes, a 3-percent increase from 2010. However, from 2008 through 2011 the number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes declined by 12 percent. The number of passenger vehicles involved in fatal crashes declined by 13 percent over the same period.
Over the past 10 years (2001 through 2011):
The number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes decreased from 4,823 to 3,608, a drop of 25 percent.
The number of large trucks involved in injury crashes decreased from 90,000 to 63,000, a drop of 30 percent.
The number of large trucks involved in property damage only crashes decreased from 335,000 to 221,000, a drop of 34 percent.
Highlights from Crashes:
Of the 273,000 police-reported crashes involving large trucks in 2011, 3,341 (1 percent) resulted in at least one fatality, and 60,000 (22 percent) resulted in at least one nonfatal injury.
Single-vehicle crashes made up 22 percent of all fatal crashes, 13 percent of all injury crashes, and 21 percent of all property damage only crashes involving large trucks in 2011.
Almost two-thirds (63 percent) of all fatal crashes involving large trucks occurred on rural roads, and about one-fourth (25 percent) occurred on rural and urban Interstate highways.
Thirty-four percent of all fatal crashes, 22 percent of all injury crashes, and 17 percent of all property damage only crashes involving large trucks occurred at night (6:00 pm to 6:00 am).
The vast majority of fatal crashes (85 percent) and nonfatal crashes (89 percent) involving large trucks occurred on weekdays (Monday through Friday).
Highlights from Vehicles:
Singles (truck tractors pulling a single semi-trailer) accounted for 61 percent of the large trucks involved in fatal crashes in 2011; doubles (tractors pulling two trailers) made up 3 percent of the large trucks involved in fatal crashes; and triples (tractors pulling three trailers) accounted for 0.1 percent of all large trucks involved in fatal crashes.
Vehicle-related crash factors were coded for 4 percent of the large trucks involved in fatal crashes and 3 percent of the passenger vehicles involved in fatal crashes. Tires was the vehicle-related factor most often coded for both vehicle types.
Highlights from People:
Of the 3,757 drivers of large trucks involved in fatal crashes, 199 (6 percent) were 25 years of age or younger, and 175 (5 percent) were 66 years of age or older. In comparison, 5 (2 percent) of the 232 drivers of buses in fatal crashes were 25 years of age or younger, and 19 (8 percent) were 66 years of age or older.
Of the 3,757 drivers of large trucks involved in fatal crashes, 341 (10 percent) were not wearing a safety belt at the time of the crash; of those, 29 percent were completely or partially ejected from the vehicle.
One or more driver-related factors were recorded for 56 percent of the drivers of large trucks involved in single-vehicle fatal crashes and for 29 percent of the drivers of large trucks involved in multiple-vehicle fatal crashes. In comparison, at least one driver-related factor was recorded for 76 percent of the drivers of passenger vehicles (cars, vans, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles) involved in single-vehicle crashes and 52 percent of the passenger vehicle drivers in multiple-vehicle crashes. Speeding was the most often coded driver-related factor for both vehicle types; distraction/inattention was the second most common for large truck drivers, and impairment (fatigue, alcohol, drugs, illness) was the second most common for passenger vehicle drivers
Though our headline/title may seem a like a very bad joke, we’re deadly serious. Motorists who drive too fast, tailgate or drive “distracted” behind large tractor-trailer rigs are putting themselves in harm’s way — they could become decapitated if they crash into the rear corner of a trailer at speeds as low as 35 miles per hour.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducts many different kinds of crash testing. Recently (this March) they conducted crash testing of many different brands of trailers to see the effects on a 2010 Chevy Malibu and its crash-test-dummy occupants. Only one brand of trailer saved the dummies in all three types of testing scenarios. This was accomplished by using a different approach to the manufacturing of the under-ride guard.
Since most motorists won’t be able to pick and choose which type of trailer they crash into, they need to give tractor-trailer rigs a wide berth on the highway — stay out of their “no-zone” or blind areas, especially the area immediately behind the trailer.
To better illustrate the seriousness of the situation, please take a moment to watch this informative video from IIHS.