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59 CHAPTER SIX CONCLUSIONS This report has reviewed the academic, commercial, and ment (R&D) needs for greater knowledge and more useful industry literature on tests, measurements, and other proce- driver assessment tools. dures used by motor carriers to select safe commercial driv- ers. It documented the large individual differences in driver crash risk, based on a previous synthesis (CTBSSP Synthesis DRIVER INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES AND SAFETY 4) and more recent findings. It presented evidence relating to individual driver traits relevant to safety, and described ways Chapter two described driver characteristics and personal that those differences are being assessed as part of hiring dimensions with known relationships to safety-related decision making. The study determined that personal and behavior and especially to driving crash risk. This sec- psychological dimensions related to safety can include-- tion highlights some major conclusions from that chapter. Selected, major citations are provided here; additional cita- Demographics (e.g., age and gender) tions are found in chapter two. Driving knowledge and skills Personality (e.g., aggressiveness, sensation-seeking, Two psychological "metaprinciples" are related to indi- stress levels) vidual differences and to behavioral consistency. These Risk perception and attitudes metaprinciples can be considered two sides of the same coin, Psychomotor skills (e.g., reaction time) because people differ greatly in safety-relevant ways and Medical status and conditions, including fatigue many of these differences are enduring. They are underlying susceptibility rationales for emphasizing driver selection in motor carrier Behavioral history safety management. Mental abilities. Federal minimum qualifications for commercial drivers Individual differences in safety have been recognized encompass driver basic skills, driving and other personal as creating the need for valid employee assessments and history, and medical conditions, but do not address all per- selection procedures in particular. A variety of assessment sonal characteristics relevant to driving safety. Large indi- procedures have been included under the rubric "tests and vidual differences in driving safety exist within almost any measurements" for purpose of improved driver hiring. group of drivers, including those meeting all legal require- These include resume evaluations, application forms, ques- ments for commercial driving. tionnaires, driving observations, review of driving and other public records, biodata, interviews, mental ability tests, Literature indicates that people differ from each other physical ability tests, personality and attitude inventories, along many different dimensions related to heredity, devel- medical histories, and medical examinations. This report opmental environments, chronic life conditions, or a combi- reviewed the nature, use, and safety-effectiveness of these nation of these. By and large, the root causes of individual selection procedures. Surveys and interviews with carrier differences are not of primary interest to employers because safety managers, and surveys of other experts were used to their effects already exist when employees present them- obtain information from motor carriers on underlying driver selves for hire. Evidence points to the following human characteristics relevant to risk and how best to assess them. trait categories as being most relevant to driving safety, The project surveys were convenience samples of available and thus of greatest potential interest for commercial driver individuals sufficiently motivated to take the time to partici- assessment: pate; they should not be regarded as being representative of larger populations. Personality, including behavioral tendencies and attitudes The following sections synthesize findings and draw Psychomotor skills and cognitive functions major conclusions relating to driver individual differences, Medical status and conditions available and actual industry practices to improve driver Behavioral history selection, suggested practices, and research and develop- Mental ability.