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44 by the Truck Safety Coalition, a partnership of truck safety advocacy organizations. Five Carrier C Innovative Operational Practices Of 15 operational practices rated in the project survey, the Detention fees for excessive loading and unloading SM rated maximizing travel on Interstates and other freeways delays as most benefiting fleet safety. Other routing and schedul- Routing communications provided only when vehicle is ing practices rated highly included maximizing day driving, stationary assigning familiar routes, and avoiding urban traffic and con- Extensive crash and exposure analyses have identified struction zones. risky conditions such as work zones. Many trucks equipped with automated transmissions for This carrier uses nine of the 11 operational practices and ease-of-use and safety tools probed in the project survey. This includes use of PM Electronic monitoring of vehicle movements with auto- matic messages sent to drivers nearing HOS limits schedules and software, brokers and other methods to reduce empty backhauls, detention fees for loading and unloading delays, and a requirement that drivers prepare trip plans before driving. The SM noted that detention fees are necessary transmissions are not fully automatic, but they require much because, without them, customers have little incentive to less shifting skill, attention, and work than a truck manual reduce delays. Drivers are paid by the mile and delays have a transmission (Knipling 2009). The safety rationale is that low perceived cost to customers, posing an efficiency and reducing driver physical and mental workload from shifting safety challenge to the supply chain. will permit greater and more continuous attention to driving. The company conducted an experiment in which a group of With regard to onboard computers and communications, the new drivers was trained and fielded with automated trans- SM believed that the key challenge was in providing informa- mission vehicles, whereas a control group used standard tion and communications without increasing driver distraction. gears. New drivers using automated transmissions had slightly The company does not use general-purpose computers in its increased fuel use, but this was more than offset by a 26% cabs because their potential for distraction is too great. It does lower first-year crash rate than that of the control group. They use communications and navigational aids, but without provid- also completed their training sooner on average, and had a ing visual displays when vehicles are in motion. Displays auto- 35% higher 1-year retention rate (Knipling 2009). matically go blank and are locked out-of-use when vehicles are in motion. The routing interface converts text to voice when the The carrier's trucks are electronically monitored to track vehicle is moving. The company's routing software uses a zip- driver work and driving times, and those driven by employee code-centertozip-code-center routing algorithm to identify drivers are speed-limited. Electronic work time monitoring the miles associated with a given load run by the shortest route. starts with the automatically detected first movement of the Minimizing the out-of-route mileage by this metric is one com- vehicle on a driver's tour-of-duty. The system is programmed ponent of a quarterly driver pay bonus system. The company is to assume that the driver's on-duty period started 30 min ear- considering improvements to this approach by giving greater lier. If a driver has not shut down well within HOS limits, the weight to travel efficiency and safety (e.g., by routing through system sends him or her update messages on approaching Interstates even if distances are longer). time limits. The system tabulates the number of messages sent to each driver, along with the driver's daily and weekly miles. The carrier conducts extensive and probing analyses of its safety risk factors and crash causes. The SM regarded driving in construction zones as among the most important conditions CASE STUDY D: LARGE TRUCKLOAD CARRIER elevating crash risk. The company has "dramatically higher" crash rates in construction zones than in other settings. The SM Carrier D is a large common and contract carrier specializ- believes this to be the result of two factors: mis-engineering ing in truckload quantities of general commodities. The com- of the zones and, more importantly, car drivers trying to pass pany is located in the central United States and runs primarily trucks and cut in front of them before a zone. Schedule fac- medium-distance dry van and flatbed hauls. In the project tors associated with severe crashes include time-of-day, survey, Carrier D's SM rated the following operational prac- hours since last break, and day of the work cycle. The SM tices as having the greatest benefits to safety: would like to be able to factor crash risk into company pricing models so that the costs of transporting goods under higher- Maximizing travel on Interstates and other freeways; risk conditions are passed along to customers demanding such Maximizing day driving; services. Avoiding urban peak hours and other heavy traffic sit- uations; The company is equipping many of its new trucks with Avoiding adverse weather and slick roads; automated transmissions to make them easier to operate and Avoiding construction zones; and to reduce driver distraction from shifting gears. "Automated" Assigning familiar routes to drivers when possible.