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2 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION The United States Department of Transportation (U.S. regulatory approaches, but as a learning tool for FMCSA and DOT), through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Adminis- other agency staff responsible for these three CMV industry tration (FMCSA), regulates the interstate commercial motor segments. Note that transit buses are not included in this syn- vehicle (CMV) operations of motorcoach firms, trucking oper- thesis. Comprehensive statistics on the transit industry are ators, and school bus contractors. An extensive body of liter- available from the Federal Transit Administration's National ature describes each of the CMV industry segments. U.S. DOT Transit Database, available at www.ntdprogram.com. and FMCSA have focused significant resources on organizing Describing and comparing the operational differences and and documenting the topology and operational characteristics similarities across the motorcoach, school bus, and trucking of the interstate for-hire trucking industry, but comparable industries improves FMCSA's ability to develop more effec- information on the commercial passenger and school bus tive and efficient regulations and programs. This study offers contractor industries is not readily available. More impor- a comprehensive description of each of the three CMV seg- tantly, there is no systematic, detailed study that compares ments, including (1) the number of carriers in each segment, operational similarities and differences across the three CMV broken down into comparable size categories; (2) the signif- segments. icant "type-groupings" (i.e., private, for-hire, truckload, less- The lack of clear and readily accessible profiles of the than-truckload, charter, tour, scheduled service, etc.) within CMV industry makes it difficult to quickly and accurately each segment, and the number of carriers in each type- assess the appropriateness and impact of proposed regula- grouping, broken down into comparable size categories; tions. This is a significant problem for FMCSA, which is (3) historical crash, injury, and fatality data for each of the charged with improving the safety of CMVs. FMCSA's orga- segments; and (4) the economic environment within which nizational goal is to reduce the number of fatalities involving each of the segments and type-groupings operates: source of trucks from 2.4 fatalities per 100 million miles traveled in revenues, competitive factors, driver compensation (including 2001 to 1.65 fatalities per 100 million miles traveled by 2008. the basis for that compensation, e.g., miles traveled, hours Lacking readily accessible data that contrast and compare the worked, etc.), regulations, hours of service, full-time/part-time CMV industry segments, FMCSA must devote significant driver use, and other appropriate measures. staff time to assembling and reassembling the appropriate The study is based on a comprehensive review of existing data on a project-by-project basis. Other federal and state reg- available data, supplemented by interviews with various indus- ulatory agencies, as well as the CMV industry segments them- try stakeholders. Where possible, statistics are presented for the selves, also spend considerable resources searching for and entire national company and vehicle population (interstate and organizing comparative data. intrastate, for-hire and private, etc.). However, data are most This Commercial Truck and Bus Safety Synthesis assem- readily available for interstate and for-hire segments of the bles the best available data, develops consistent profiles of industries. As a result, this synthesis is not meant to be a sta- each CMV industry segment, and presents that data in a for- tistically defensible national survey; national statistics that can mat useful to FMCSA, the states, and industry. It collects and be disaggregated by industry segment are generally not avail- compares operational measures such as the number of U.S. able, and the aggregation of component data from various operators, fleet sizes, accident statistics, vehicle-miles of industry sources is not necessarily a valid methodological travel, and business models. This information will serve as an approach. Therefore, this synthesis identifies the data limita- important resource. It can be used not only as a foundation for tions and concludes with a section describing gaps in the data.