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32 Four questions on respondent's professional experi- survey materials. Walonick (2010) provides a more extensive ence and fleet characteristics. discussion of the difficulties of obtaining survey data from A space to provide an optional e-mail address to which various respondent groups. According to one report (cited in to send the project report PDF. McQuire 2010), only about half of e-mails are opened. This highlights the difficulty of obtaining high response rates from e-mailed surveys. Questionnaire Distribution and Analysis In spite of the challenges of obtaining a robust survey sam- Two commercial motor vehicle trade associations, the Truck- ple and the acknowledged unrepresentativeness of the sample load Carriers Association and the Bus Industry Safety Coun- in relation to all safety managers, the 79 responses did provide cil, assisted the study by distributing paper survey forms (both sufficient data for analysis as well as many useful comments. for this project and MC-22) at national meetings. A third asso- In addition, a number of respondents volunteered for follow- ciation, the NPTC, assisted the effort by e-mailing the online up structured interviews, described here. survey solicitation to its Safety Council members, with the council's endorsement. Follow-Up Structured Interviews Paper surveys were formatted on a single front-and-back sheet where answer choices were to be circled or penciled in. The last question of the MC-23 (Driver Selection Tests and At the Truckload Carriers Association meeting, approximately Measurements; Knipling et al. 2001) safety-manager survey 100 survey forms (for each of the two projects) were dis- form asked respondents if they would be interested in partici- tributed, and 24 were returned. Two other truck forms were pating in a paid follow-up interview to discuss innovative fleet obtained through personal contacts. At the Bus Industry Safety practices. The question included the assurance, "Responses Council meeting, approximately 50 forms were distributed, will be confidential; no interviewees or carriers will be iden- and 30 were returned. At the latter meeting, attendees included tified unless desired." The key purpose of the interviews was a significant proportion of non-safety managers (e.g., govern- to gather information and opinions for project case study ment officials, trade association officials, vendors, and consul- write-ups (see chapter four). If respondents did volunteer, and tants) for whom the survey was not intended. The exact number had a relatively large number of "yes" responses under carrier of carrier safety managers in the room is not known. practices for both surveys (MC-22 and MC-23), they were contacted to schedule an interview (covering both MC-22 and An additional effort to obtain safety-manager respon- MC-23 topics). Altogether, 20 respondents were contacted, dents was made using TRB's online survey service. The usually both by e-mail and by phone. Apparently, most had online survey had the same content as the paper survey, second thoughts because only 10 agreed to participate. These except for the omission of the first two questions relating 10, however, provided substantial information on carrier oper- to general crash-risk factors. These two questions were ational practices relating to safety. One other carrier was added somewhat wordy "thought questions," requiring more time through personal contact. Thus, 11 case studies are provided in for response than others on the survey. They were omitted chapter four. from the online version to streamline the survey and per- haps increase response rates. MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY-MANAGER E-mail requests were sent to 130 respondents believed SURVEY RESULTS to be current motor carrier safety managers based on their business cards and contact information gathered at various Factors Affecting Safety and Crash Risk recent motor carrier safety conferences. An additional solici- tation was sent from an NPTC official to NPTC Safety Coun- Questions 1 and 2 addressed factors affecting safety and crash cil members. Twenty-five people took the online version of the risk. These were also the first two questions of the MC-23 sur- survey. This brought the total safety-manager survey sample vey, as the two questions were pertinent to both studies. The to 79 (24 + 30 + 25). same five choices were presented in each. Question 1 asked for the respondent's choice of up to two factors having the Paper survey answers were entered into an Excel spread- greatest effect, whereas Question 2 asked for the one factor sheet for analysis. Online survey tabulations were generated with the least effect. Table 6 presents responses. and added to the Excel sheet totals. As expected, choices for the two opposite questions (great- The earlier experience suggests that both methods are est and least) were more or less inversely related. Driver- viable. Handing out paper surveys at trade association meet- related choices (a) and (b) were regarded as having the greatest ings with the support of the organizers likely yields a higher effect on crash risk. The vehicle-related choice (c) received return than does e-mail solicitation. Carrier officials are the the fewest "most" votes, whereas (d) "Roadway characteristics targets of a lot of product marketing and other promotions, and traffic conditions," received the greatest number of "least" and thus may tend to be wary of responding to external e-mails votes. Thus, both (c) and (d) could be regarded as "losers." in general. Potential respondents may have confidentiality Ironically, perhaps, choice (d) has the greatest relevance to concerns, even if confidentiality statements are prominent in the current study, because many operational transport efficien-

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33 TABLE 6 SAFETY-MANAGER RESPONSES RELATING TO FACTORS AFFECTING SAFETY AND CRASH RISK (1) Factors Affecting Safety and Crash Risk: Consider the entire fleet of North American commercial vehicles (trucks and buses). Across all these drivers and vehicles, which factors have the greatest association with crash risk? Pick up to two of the factors below which, in your opinion, have the greatest association with crash risk. (2) In your opinion, which one (1) (2) factor has the least association with crash risk? Most Least (a) Enduring/long-term driver traits; e.g., age, physical abilities, medical conditions, 31 5 personality, behavioral history. (b) Temporary driver states; e.g., moods, daily circadian rhythms, effects of recent sleep, 32 4 effects of recent food & fluids, effects of environmental conditions in cab, etc. (c) Vehicle characteristics (e.g., configuration, safety equipment, load) & mechanical 7 12 condition (e.g., brakes, tires). (d) Roadway characteristics & traffic conditions; e.g., undivided vs. divided highways, 10 14 construction zones, traffic density, speed limits, lane restrictions, etc. (e) Weather and roadway surface conditions; e.g., wet vs. dry, road surface friction, visibility, 9 8 wind, etc. Total Responses: 89 43 cies are related to roadway and routing choices. Other choices A seven-point Likert rating scale was used for responses, may also be relevant to specific operational practices. Figure 6 ranging from -3 (reduces fleet safety) through 0 (no effect on shows the "most" vote tallies graphically. safety) to +3 (improves fleet safety). "X" was given as a choice for "no opinion/not sure." Table 7 provides the 15 items, the number of ratings for each of the eight choices (-3, -2, -1, 0, Driving Situations and Operational Practices Possibly Affecting Fleet Safety +1, +2, +3, X) plus the total number of responses (N), the median (Md) and the arithmetic average (Avg), also known as Questions 3 to 17 presented 16 driving situations and opera- the mean. Median ratings are provided along with mean rat- tional practices, preceded by the following general instructions: ings because of the large number of choices (7) and because extreme choices might shift means unduly. Question 9 was The following are driving situations or carrier operational prac- omitted from the bus version of the survey because it was tices which may reduce, not affect, or improve fleet safety. Assign not considered relevant to bus transport, owing to the rela- each situation or practice a negative value if it decreases safety, zero if it does not affect safety, or a positive value if it improves tive inflexibility of bus schedules. Thus, the number of safety. Choose one number for each. Consecutive items may rep- responses to this question was lower and applied only to resent alternative or even opposing safety strategies. truck transport. 35 30 Respondent Votes (2 Each) 25 20 15 10 5 0 Enduring Driver Temporary Driver Vehicle Roadway Weather Traits States Characteristics & Traffic & Surface Condition FIGURE 6 Factors affecting crash risk.

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34 TABLE 7 SAFETY-MANAGER RATINGS OF DRIVING SITUATIONS AND OPERATIONAL PRACTICES Driving Situation/Operational Practice: -3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3 X N Md Avg. (3) Reduce empty backhauls (deadheads) 0 2 5 35 14 12 3 7 78 0 +0.5 (4) Reduce loading/unloading delays 0 0 1 8 18 25 19 7 78 +2 +1.8 (5) Increase routing efficiency using GPS 0 1 0 3 20 37 13 3 77 +2 +1.8 navigation aids and/or truck routing software (6) Maximize travel on Interstates and other 0 0 2 4 18 34 17 2 77 +2 +1.8 freeways (7) Maximize travel on low-speed roads (e.g., 10 21 30 4 5 3 2 2 77 -1 -1.1 two-lane local roads) (8) Maximize day driving to avoid driver 0 1 3 8 25 23 17 1 78 +2 +1.5 fatigue & other nighttime risks (9) Maximize night driving to avoid daytime 3 7 16 4 14 4 0 1 49 0 -0.4 traffic [truck data only] (10) Avoid urban rush hours and other heavy 1 1 0 4 21 27 19 3 76 +2 +1.7 traffic situations (11) Avoid adverse weather and slick roads 1 1 2 2 16 33 23 0 78 +2 +1.8 (12) Avoid construction zones 1 1 1 4 32 29 9 1 78 +1 +1.4 (13) Assign familiar routes to drivers when 0 2 2 7 15 29 22 0 77 +2 +1.7 possible (14) Use fewer, larger trucks (e.g., multi- 1 4 8 25 13 10 8 8 77 0 +0.6 trailer trucks) when possible (15) Use more, smaller trucks (e.g., single- 3 2 9 32 14 8 1 9 78 0 +0.2 unit trucks) when possible (16) Use onboard computers 1 0 6 17 18 18 11 7 78 +1 +1.1 (17) Use mobile communication systems 3 5 9 16 15 15 9 6 78 +1 +0.6 Grand Mean: +1.0 Avg. = Arithmetic average (mean); Md = Median (middle); N = Number of respondents. Four practices received the highest mean ratings: (4) reduc- For each of the operational practices below, please indicate yes ing loading and unloading delays, (5) increasing routing effi- or no whether your organization uses the practice. If yes, rate its overall safety effectiveness using the 15 scale provided. Circle ciency, (6) maximizing travel on Interstates, and (11) avoiding your answer. If no, leave the ratings blank. adverse weather. Closely following were (10) avoiding urban rush hours and (13) assigning familiar routes to drivers. The The five Likert scale choices were: practice receiving the highest negative rating was (7) maxi- mizing travel on low-speed roads, followed by (9) maximizing 1. Highly Ineffective; night driving. The highest rating variabilities were seen on the 2. Ineffective; two items relating to truck size (14 and 15). Both received 3. Not Sure/Neutral; votes for all seven Likert scale ratings, suggesting a great deal 4. Effective; and of disagreement on this issue. Figure 7 shows graphically the 5. Highly Effective. 16 items in ascending order by mean rating. Table 8 provides the number of respondents who reported Operational Practices and Tools Used by Fleets using each practice. Questions 18 to 28 presented 11 carrier practices and first asked Table 9 shows the effectiveness ratings given by users of respondents to state whether or not they regularly used the prac- the practice. Statistics provided include the number for each tice (yes or no). Respondents answering "yes" on a question Likert scale choice, the total number of responses (N), and the were then to rate the effectiveness of the practice on a five-point weighted arithmetic average or mean of responses (Avg.). Likert scale. The specific instructions were as follows: Averages are rounded to the nearest tenth. Respondents used

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35 2 1.5 Mean 3 to +3 Rating 1 0.5 0 0.5 1 1.5 FIGURE 7 Fifteen driving situations and operational practices, rank-ordered by safety-manager mean safety rating. TABLE 8 SAFETY-MANAGER RESPONDENT USE OF OPERATIONAL PRACTICE/TOOL Rating or Statistic: Yes No N Operational Practice/Tool: (18) Preventive maintenance (PM) schedule and record for each vehicle 77 2 79 (19) Preventive maintenance software or spreadsheets 62 16 78 (20) Use brokers or other services to reduce empty backhauls (deadheads) 30 47 77 (21) Charge extra fees to customers for excessive loading/unloading delays 34 16 50 (22) Require drivers to complete a trip plan prior to trip. 24 53 77 (23) Use general GPS navigation/routing systems or services 42 34 76 (24) Use truck-specific navigation/routing systems or services 29 48 77 (25) Provide EZ Pass" transponder and/or reimbursement of toll charges to 66 12 78 drivers/owner-operators (26) Use higher capacity vehicles (e.g., twin trailers, LCVs) when possible 17 60 77 (27) Use onboard computers 41 33 74 (28) Use mobile communications 58 20 78 N = number of respondents.

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36 TABLE 9 SAFETY-MANAGER LIKERT SCALE RATINGS OF EFFECTIVENESS OF OPERATIONAL PRACTICE/TOOL Rating or Statistic 1 2 3 4 5 N Avg. Operational Practice/Tool (18) Preventive maintenance schedule and record for 4 1 2 33 35 75 4.3 each vehicle (19) Preventive maintenance software or spreadsheets 2 0 11 32 14 59 3.9 (20) Use brokers or other services to reduce empty 1 7 14 8 1 31 3.0 backhauls (deadheads) (21) Charge extra fees to customers for excessive 2 1 14 18 0 35 3.4 loading/unloading delays (22) Require drivers to complete a trip plan prior to trip 0 2 4 14 5 25 3.9 (23) Use general GPS navigation/routing systems or 1 2 10 24 4 41 3.7 services (24) Use truck-specific navigation/routing systems or 1 1 5 17 5 29 3.8 services (25) Provide "EZ Pass" transponder and/or 1 0 22 26 14 63 3.8 reimbursement of toll charges to drivers/OOs (26) Use higher capacity vehicles (e.g., twin trailers, 0 1 3 10 3 17 3.9 LCVs) when possible (27) Use onboard computers 1 1 9 17 9 37 3.9 (28) Use mobile communications 0 3 22 23 8 56 3.6 Grand Mean: 3.7 an average of 6.1 of the 11 practices listed. The most fre- rating (3.0 on the 1-to-5 scale). The 10 other practices received quently used were PM schedules and records for each vehicle, mean ratings in a relatively narrow range between 3.4 and 4.3. providing "EZ Pass" and toll reimbursements to drivers, and Item 18, "Preventive maintenance schedule and record for using PM software or spreadsheets. The least frequent practice each vehicle," received the highest overall rating (4.3). was the use of higher-capacity vehicles. Other practices used by a minority of respondents were requiring drivers to com- plete trip plans and using truck-specific GPS navigation aids. Additional Questions Almost all 11 of the practices received favorable ratings of Question 29 asked respondents about the general relationship safety effectiveness. Only item (20), "Using brokers or other between carrier efficiency and safety. Table 10 presents the services to reduce empty backhauls," received a neutral mean question stem, response choices, and number for each. TABLE 10 GENERAL RELATION BETWEEN CARRIER EFFICIENCY AND SAFETY FOR SAFETY MANAGERS (29) What is the relationship between carrier efficiency and safety? Circle the letter of the statement you most agree with. N (a) Highly efficient carriers tend also to be more safe than other carriers. 63 (b) Carrier efficiency and carrier safety are lar gely unrelated to each other. 8 (c) Highly efficient carriers tend to be less safe than other carriers. 2 (d) Don't know/no general opinion. 4 Total: 77

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37 A strong 63 of 77 respondents believed that highly efficient Question 31 asked for other comments regarding carrier carriers also tended to be safe carriers. Only 2 of 77 respon- efficiencies or other practices affecting fleet safety positively dents thought the association was negative. or negatively. These comments were similar to those noted above. Here are the responses: Question 30 asked respondents to write in the operational efficiency or other practice contributing most to fleet safety. Training, training, more training Because this was an open-response item, responses varied Insistence on pre-trip inspections before loading to and not all respondents answered the question. Many of the include on-board knuckle boom crane [for off-loading responses did not relate specifically to report topics. Others and field loading of heavy cargo] pre-trip did relate directly or partially to carrier efficiencies addressed Inefficiencies of shipper/receivers in the loading and in this report. Here are the responses: unloading process have the most negative effect on safety for our drivers. Preventative maintenance and/or pre- posttrip inspec- Efficiency and safety must be used in conjunction, and tions [eight respondents] not considered "stand-alone" initiatives. Driver training from a new hire to refresher training with Our biggest challenge is with our customers and sup- a trainer riding along to observe and comment; "com- pliers. There is ignorance or apathy toward an efficient prehensive" driver training; other training-related [five loading or unloading process. respondents] Electronic logs may be able to help with logbook falsi- Onboard computers [three respondents] fication, which would help with the safety issue. Incentive/safety bonus program [two respondents] Comprehensive driver wellness program, detailed audit You must develop a safety culture from the top down. of HOS have had very positive impact on safety. You must be willing to make investments in technology Ongoing training, the daily presence of safety person- to promote safety. nel advocating safety Executive and management involved in all levels of Need a safety person present in operations to provide pos- safety and compliance itive safety influence daily We are a fleet of all owner-operators. Communication Drivers appreciate efforts to reduce fatigue and improve is the key to our efficiency and assists us in being a safe time driving. and efficient heavy haul company. Strong oversight of operations Conducting a thorough pre- and post-trip inspection Periodic retraining of drivers, regular safety meetings, Reduction of speed follow-up on PMs, meet with mechanics each week and Participation of the drivers in programs aimed at safety go over work orders for past and current week Driver debriefing and communication Driver training and supervision Insistence on daily management monitoring of pre- and Long-term core values should drive decisions, not short- post-trip inspections term "firefighting;" focus on prevention, not reaction. Onboard camera system Central operations environment helps control the excess Help locations with route development to ensure HOS movement of fleet. compliance, and onboard e-logs. Also, quarterly drivers' Efficient scheduling and routing contributes to safe meetings and Smith System Advanced Driver Training operations. Using technology but the driver remains in control of the vehicle Information About Respondents and Their Fleets Effective, engaged management on-site, interaction with drivers and showing true caring for their well-being goes Safety managers were also asked two questions about their far with our drivers, more than electronics or computers. professional experience and two questions about their fleet's Accountability for safety characteristics. Question 32 asked their years of experience Governed truck speeds as a safety manager or human resource manager, and Ques- No one practice but a culture tion 33 asked their total years of experience in commercial Driver and maintenance staff input truck or bus operations. Table 11 provides summary statistics Speed reduction and driver wellness programs of their answers. Ten-point safety and productivity incentive plan with quarterly review and cash incentive for each driver Altogether, the 79 safety-manager respondents claimed Keeping up with driver logs--rest times and keeping 989 years' experience as safety managers and 1,821 years drivers on similar shifts, especially regarding time off- total experience in CMV transport. As a group, they are highly duty experienced. Operational efficiency means "well run," not "get the load there on time or else." Question 34 asked respondents to state the approximate Prudent use of fleet and deadhead moves number of power units (i.e., tractors or trucks) currently in