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49 Five Carrier I Five Carrier J Innovative Operational Practices Innovative Operational Practices ˇ Commercial software for PM scheduling and records ˇ Software for PM scheduling and records ˇ Use of multiple methods to reduce deadheads to 5% of ˇ File of optimal routes for almost all trips return trips ˇ Provides state daily traffic alerts to drivers ˇ Maps and route directions provided to drivers for trips ˇ EOBRs assist trip planning as well as HOS compliance. ˇ Mobile communications ˇ OBSM monitors fuel use and driving patterns. Prints ˇ Moving to electronic logs and multifunction vehicle trip "Report Card" onboard monitoring indeed using their time productively, one of the concerns indeed, they "make it a competition" to see who can earn the motivating carriers to pay long-haul drivers only by the mile. best scores. EOBRs are more accurate than paper logs and increase safety by improving HOS compliance. EOBR bene- fits are not limited to fatigue reduction, however. They make CASE STUDY J: SMALL CHARTER BUS SERVICE operational planning and safety management more efficient, and enable quick identification of problems. The system's Carrier J is a small, family-owned charter bus service located GPS real-time mapping feature can provide a location-by-time in New York state. Most of its trips are to New York City and "cookie trail" for any trip, vehicle, or driver. other major attractions in the region. Its SM, interviewed for this case study, has 20 years' experience in the position and The Carrier J SM believed that efficient carriers were gen- 15 years' prior experience as a driver. The SM regarded erally safer carriers. One exception cited, however, was from driver enduring traits and roadway and traffic characteris- previous experience with pickup and delivery operations. tics to be the biggest crash risk factors. These choices show Too tight monitoring of delivery times forces drivers to rush, insight into two strong sources of risk variation, as indicated leading to potential errors, mishaps, and even crashes. by naturalistic driving studies. Chapter two of this report reviewed the evidence that different highway characteristics such as road type (e.g., undivided roads versus divided CASE STUDY K: SMALL CHARTER highways), construction zones, and traffic density can be AND SCHEDULED BUS SERVICE associated with marked differences in incident risk. Carrier K operates about 50 motor coaches in the Midwest. These buses carry 29 to 56 passengers, and originate from Most of Carrier J's trips are to a number of Northeast three company terminals. Services include charters, tours, cities, tourist attractions, and recreational areas. Because the shuttles, airport transfers, casino runs, and daily scheduled company serves a limited number of destinations, it can pre- routes. The company carries more than 750,000 passengers scribe a route for almost every trip. The SM regards this as a annually. The company's SM and interviewee for this sum- significant safety advantage because the prescribed routing mary holds the dual title of director of safety and training. can maximize travel on Interstates and on less congested roads. This also means that drivers are almost always famil- In the study survey, the SM rated maximizing day driving, iar with their routes. When drivers are familiar with their avoiding adverse weather, and assigning familiar routes to routes, they can plan stops, turns, lane changes, and other drivers as the most safety-effective operational practices of maneuvers in advance. They anticipate potential trouble those presented. The company had conducted no statistical spots and may learn alternate routes to take when there are studies of crash rate by hour-of-day, but regarded overnight unforeseen backups. Drivers have access to a computer at the driving, particularly between 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m., as the home office with a catalog of routes for almost all charter most dangerous. Long trips ending in these early morning destinations. They can also see daily traffic alerts from New hours were especially to be avoided. Evenings between York and other state DOTs in their travel area. 6:00 p.m. and midnight, on the other hand, were regarded as among the safer time periods for driving. Company buses on Carrier J has equipped its motor coaches with a multifunc- scheduled routes have lower crash rates than those on char- tion electronic monitoring system provided by a major ven- ters, reflecting, in the SM's opinion, drivers' greater famil- dor. The system provides OBSM as well as EOBR. The iarity with routes and traffic patterns. OBSM system records and reports "overspeed" time (i.e., above a specified top speed), highest observed speed, hard Carrier K performs PM conscientiously, using commer- braking incidence, fuel use, and other indicators of safe or cially purchased PM scheduling and tracking software. unsafe driving. It calculates a "Driver Report Card" for each General, noncommercial-vehicle GPS navigation aids are trip. Driver acceptance of the monitoring is surprisingly good; provided to drivers. Although the company works from three
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50 terminals, dispatching is from a single location, using a computerized system. Vehicles are OBSM-equipped to Five Carrier K record vehicle speeds, fuel use, and idling times. SmarTireŽ Innovative Operational Practices provides automated pressure monitoring and inflation. These ˇ Commercial software for PM scheduling and records applications are motivated primarily by efficiency and cost- ˇ Avoids long trips ending in the early morning reduction, but their safety benefits are recognized. The SM ˇ Computer-aided dispatching from single location believes that efficient carriers are usually safer carriers, because ˇ OBSM records speeds, fuel use, and idling times. of their established and continuous procedures and expecta- ˇ Automatic tire pressure monitoring and inflation tions. These systems allow for quicker correction of devia- tions and problems. A concern, however, is that proliferation of in-vehicle safety- and efficiency-related devices could lead to greater driver distraction and information overload.