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OCR for page 60
60 Personality includes any persistent tendency or consistency Behavioral history includes past driving events and non- in a person's behavior or psychological makeup. Personal- driving events. A driver's history of crashes, violations, and ity traits are consistent tendencies in emotional adjustment, other incidents is a well-documented predictor of future interpersonal relations, motivation, attitudes, and behavioral crash involvements and whether the driver will be at fault "style." They are "deep individual characteristics, most often in future crashes. Past traffic violations seem to be a better biologically rooted, that determine the broad emotional and predictor of future crashes than are past crashes themselves, behavioral orientations of the person" (Thiffault's Towards because the former are more numerous (and thus more a Strategy Targeting Human Factors in the Motor Carrier statistically reliable) and because they more clearly imply Industry in Canada). Psychological consistencies extend in misbehavior and fault. Further, attitude inventory studies two dimensions: consistency over time and consistency across show that a slack attitude toward road rules and violations is diverse situations. Personality affects road safety through a strongly associated with poor driving behaviors and relative person's driving "style" and through specific behaviors and unconcern about crash risks. abilities. Few personality traits can be diagnosed as defini- tively as physical traits or medical conditions. Rather, they are In regard to past crash involvements, there are reasons for descriptive constructs that may overlap. Those most relevant considering single-vehicle crash involvements a clearer sign to safety include impulsivity/risk-taking, sensation-seeking, of risk than multivehicle crash involvements. In the LTCCS, aggressiveness/hostility, Type A personality, conscientious- truck single-vehicle involvements were much more likely ness, agreeableness, and emotional stability. The first four have than at-fault multivehicle involvements to involve driver negative implications for safety, whereas the last three have asleep at the wheel, physical failure (e.g., a medical event), positive implications. Along the extraversion-introversion con- excessive speeds, aggressive driving (as an associated fac- tinuum, introversion is generally associated with lower risk. tor), response execution errors, and vehicle maintenance failures (for which drivers are responsible). In contrast, Personality contributes to attitudes--positive or negative many multivehicle crashes are triggered by a less egregious evaluations of particular objects of thought, such as specific error, such as "looked but did not see." safe driving behaviors. Ajzen's "The Theory of Planned Behavior" suggests that attitudes combine and interact with Histories of nondriving criminality are associated with perceived social norms and behavioral control to determine elevated crash and violation risk. Commercial drivers with intentions, which become behaviors. Well-constructed ques- criminal backgrounds also create security issues for carri- tionnaires can assess individual differences in safety atti- ers. The association of criminality and unsafe driving may tudes, and thus can be predictive of driving safety. be the result of the antisocial personalities and social devi- ance of some people with criminal histories. This behavior On the surface, one might expect psychomotor skills to disorder is strongly associated with risk. The relation of poor be highly predictive of driving success. Driving is an active credit history to crash risk is unclear. Motor carriers per- sensorimotor task that requires accurate perception, quick forming credit checks on their drivers justify the practice thinking and decisions, and precise execution of maneuvers. based primarily on security concerns. Yet dynamic psychomotor abilities are not highly predictive of crash rates across the wide range of drivers. Safe driving Intelligence and component mental abilities like spatial and appears to primarily reflect behavioral habits, choices, and mathematical reasoning appear to have some association with temporary states rather than performance capabilities. The safety. Associations are more apparent at the extremes than current survey findings were consistent with this conclu- across the middle ranges of mental abilities. More intelligent sion. Psychomotor skills and cognitive functions are bigger drivers appear to make more rational risk choices, better man- concerns when drivers have serious medical conditions or age their time, and better balance the demands of their jobs. impairments from past drug or alcohol use, or when their age raises the question of whether they will be subject to One method for carriers to improve their safety is to significant health or psychomotor changes. improve their driver retention. For a variety of reasons, driv- ers with longer company tenures tend to be safer. Many of Medical conditions can affect driving safety in several the personal traits associated with safe driving are also asso- ways, most obviously through catastrophic performance fail- ciated with retention. They include higher mental abilities, ures while driving. In the Large Truck Crash Causation Study and conscientiousness and agreeableness. (LTCCS), truck driver physical failures, primarily asleep-at- the-wheel and heart attacks, were the Critical Reason (prox- imal cause) of 12% of truck at-fault crashes and 6% of all DRIVER SELECTION TOOLS AND PRACTICES truck crashes. Sleep apnea and circulatory disease appear to be the driver medical conditions of greatest concern in com- This study used three major sources of information on cur- mercial transport. There are marked individual differences in rent driver selection tools and practices in the truck and susceptibility to drowsiness, related in part to sleep disorders. bus transport industries: the literature and product review
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61 of driver selection tests and measurements (chapter three), Obtaining commercial driver records is not a "test" in the the project safety manager survey (chapter four), and the usual sense, but it functions in the same manner as a screen- case studies based on follow-up safety manager inter- ing tool. Carriers are obliged to review state MVRs for traf- views (chapter five). This section highlights some major fic violations and convictions. The new federal PSP allows conclusions from these chapters. Selected major literature carriers to voluntarily access crash and roadside inspection citations are provided here; previous chapters contain addi- data as well. tional citations. Carriers are required by law to ensure that drivers meet Carriers must, at a minimum, take certain actions to medical qualifications, but meeting this requirement does ensure that any driver they hire meets federal qualifications. not eliminate their concerns regarding crash risk and car- These actions, and required records of them, are specified rier liability. Whether a medical condition is identified as in 49 CFR 391.51 and summarized in the 2008 FMCSA A the direct cause of a crash or is merely suspected as an asso- Motor Carrier's Guide to Improving Highway Safety. In ciated factor, carriers have high liability exposure when practice, these minimum actions are combined with volun- unhealthy drivers are involved in crashes. Sleep apnea and tary company actions to form an overall system for hiring. cardiac conditions, both associated with physical failures Often this takes the form of a sequence of steps or multiple (nonperformance) while driving, are among the primary hurdles approach. The following are four generic rules for health concerns about drivers. selecting the highest quality employees: This report described a number of commercially avail- 1. Target high-quality applicants. able tests marketed for use for selecting safe fleet drivers, or that could be considered candidates for such use. Tests 2. Attract as many applicants as possible. were described in terms of the personal traits they seek to measure, how they are administered, test content, and key 3. Use multiple, validated selection tools and methods. findings relating to their validity. However, no selection test or other product or service was formally evaluated for 4. Be as selective as possible. this report. Specific products and services were described as examples for reader edification. No endorsement of any Job analysis is usually the basis for valid selection tests. product or service by the authors or by TRB is implied or A job analysis document helps carriers to identify the most intended. The following section, however, does suggest con- important and valid elements of their selection process. sideration of several types of selection tests. These selection elements are predictors of job performance. Validity is the degree to which a test actually measures what This project included convenience sample surveys of both it purports to measure. A test's validity is determined in current carrier safety managers and other experts in truck contexts such as content validity, construct validity, and cri- and bus safety. Survey findings cannot be considered repre- terion-based validity (predictive or concurrent). Document- sentative of larger subject populations such as "all motor car- ing a test's predictive validity, or its validity coefficient in rier safety managers" because the sample spaces consisted relation to job performance, is the best way to legally justify of individuals already involved in national safety organiza- its use. tions and because only a minority of potential respondents actually completed the surveys. Thus, survey findings Employers have an ethical and a legal duty to treat appli- reflect only the self-selected, safety conscious individuals cants for employment fairly. Several laws shape this legal who responded. Nevertheless, survey data reveal the rela- duty, the most important of which is the Fair Employment tive opinions of respondents on various driver risk factors Practices Act, also known as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and driver selection practices. Moreover, respondents were of 1964, as amended by the Equal Employment Opportunity highly experienced; they had an average of 12 years expe- Act of 1972. This law requires that employers not discrimi- rience as safety managers and 23 total years experience in nate in hiring, promotion, wages, training, or any other term, CMV transport. condition, or privilege of employment, according to the race, color, religion, sex, or national origin of the affected persons. Respondents viewed both enduring and temporary char- These categories are the "protected classes" of individuals acteristics of drivers as stronger determinants of crash risk under the act. Adverse impact on a protected class occurs than nondriver factors, including vehicle characteristics, when a protected group is selected at less than 80% of the roadways, and weather. Their views on the most important rate at which nonprotected applicants are selected. When carrier practices were even more telling vis-à-vis the top- this happens, employers must be prepared to examine, docu- ics of this report. Carrier safety managers regarded driver ment, and defend their selection tests and other assessment assessment activities, including driver selection and postse- procedures. A 2000 DOL guide helps employers to develop lection evaluation, to have greater effects on safety outcomes and use assessment tests fairly and legally. than other nonassessment management activities. The latter