A prominent trucking research group shared the results of a study on factors that influence the likelihood that a semi truck driver will crash.

On October 11, the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) released a major update to their Predicting Truck Crash Involvement research.

One of the most prominent takeaways from the study linked previous violations to the likelihood of future crashes.

Researchers said that drivers who committed any of the following violations or behaviors have increased their future crash likelihood by over 100 percent:

  1. Failure to Yield Right-of-Way violation (141% future crash likelihood increase)
  2. Failure to Use / Improper Signal conviction (116% future crash likelihood increase)
  3. A prior crash (113% future crash likelihood increase)
  4. Reckless Driving violation (104% future crash likelihood increase)

“Simply having a previous crash increased a truck driver’s probability of having a future crash by 113 percent,” the ATRI said.

See the table below for more on driver behaviors and future crash probability.

ATRI

Researchers also looked at the rate of crashes and violations prior to the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate and found that between 2018 (the first full year that the ELD Mandate was in effect) and 2022, the number of drivers who experienced a crash decreased by 7.0 percent and the total number of Hour of Service-related violations decreased by 16.8 percent.

The study also looked at crash risks between male and female truck drivers and found that from 2018 to 2022, males continued to be significantly more likely than females to commit 11 behaviors predictive of future crash involvement. Interestingly, the study also found that women drivers are significantly less likely to be inspected than their male counterparts.

“According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), females represented 6.7 percent of the truck driver workforce in 2019 (the year of inspection data collection), yet females represented only 2.7 percent of the 2019 driver inspection data being used for this year’s analysis,” the ATRI noted. Several explanations are tested to understand the basis for the difference, the ATRI said.

“Having a science-based model for predicting crashes is one of the most important tools the trucking industry can have. ATRI’s Crash Predictor research allows carriers to target and monitor those truck driver behaviors that matter most. With truck crashes increasing, there is no better time to have this data in our hands,” said American Trucking Associations (ATA) Vice President of Safety Policy Dan Horvath.

The ATRI is the research arm of the ATA.

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