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TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD WASHINGTON, D.C. 2011 www.TRB.org COMMERCIAL TRUCK AND BUS SAFETY SYNTHESIS PROGRAM CTBSSP SYNTHESIS 22 Research Sponsored by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration SUBSCRIBER CATEGORIES Motor Carriers â¢ Safety and Human Factors â¢ Vehicles and Equipment Safety Management in Small Motor Carriers A Synthesis of Safety Practice AUTHORS RONALD R. KNIPLING Safety for the Long Haul Arlington, VA AND KENNA C. NELSON University of Minnesota at Morris WITH THE SUPPORT OF: GENE BERGOFFEN MaineWay Services, Inc. Fryeburg, ME AND STEPHEN V. BURKS University of Minnesota at Morris
COMMERCIAL TRUCK AND BUS SAFETY SYNTHESIS PROGRAM Safety is a principal focus of government agencies and private-sector orga- nizations concerned with transportation. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) was established within the Department of Trans- portation on January 1, 2000, pursuant to the Motor Carrier Safety Improve- ment Act of 1999. Formerly a part of the Federal Highway Administration, the FMCSAâs primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle- related fatalities and injuries. Administration activities contribute to ensuring safety in motor carrier operations through strong enforcement of safety reg- ulations, targeting high-risk carriers and commercial motor vehicle drivers; improving safety information systems and commercial motor vehicle tech- nologies; strengthening commercial motor vehicle equipment and operating standards; and increasing safety awareness. To accomplish these activities, the Administration works with federal, state, and local enforcement agencies, the motor carrier industry, labor, safety interest groups, and others. In addi- tion to safety, security-related issues are also receiving significant attention in light of the terrorist events of September 11, 2001. Administrators, commercial truck and bus carriers, government regulators, and researchers often face problems for which information already exists, either in documented form or as undocumented experience and practice. This information may be fragmented, scattered, and underevaluated. As a conse- quence, full knowledge of what has been learned about a problem may not be brought to bear on its solution. Costly research findings may go unused, valu- able experience may be overlooked, and due consideration may not be given to recommended practices for solving or alleviating the problem. There is information available on nearly every subject of concern to com- mercial truck and bus safety. Much of it derives from research or from the work of practitioners faced with problems in their day-to-day work. To pro- vide a systematic means for assembling and evaluating such useful informa- tion and to make it available to the commercial truck and bus industry, the Commercial Truck and Bus Safety Synthesis Program (CTBSSP) was estab- lished by the FMCSA to undertake a series of studies to search out and syn- thesize useful knowledge from all available sources and to prepare docu- mented reports on current practices in the subject areas of concern. Reports from this endeavor constitute the CTBSSP Synthesis series, which collects and assembles the various forms of information into single concise documents pertaining to specific commercial truck and bus safety problems or sets of closely related problems. The CTBSSP, administered by the Transportation Research Board, began in early 2002 in support of the FMCSAâs safety research programs. The pro- gram initiates three to four synthesis studies annually that address concerns in the area of commercial truck and bus safety. A synthesis report is a docu- ment that summarizes existing practice in a specific technical area based typ- ically on a literature search and a survey of relevant organizations (e.g., state DOTs, enforcement agencies, commercial truck and bus companies, or other organizations appropriate for the specific topic). The primary users of the syn- theses are practitioners who work on issues or problems using diverse approaches in their individual settings. The program is modeled after the suc- cessful synthesis programs currently operated as part of the National Coop- erative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) and the Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP). This synthesis series reports on various practices, making recommendations where appropriate. Each document is a compendium of the best knowledge available on measures found to be successful in resolving specific problems. To develop these syntheses in a comprehensive manner and to ensure inclu- sion of significant knowledge, available information assembled from numer- ous sources, including a large number of relevant organizations, is analyzed. For each topic, the project objectives are (1) to locate and assemble docu- mented information (2) to learn what practice has been used for solving or alleviating problems; (3) to identify all ongoing research; (4) to learn what problems remain largely unsolved; and (5) to organize, evaluate, and docu- ment the useful information that is acquired. Each synthesis is an immediately useful document that records practices that were acceptable within the limi- tations of the knowledge available at the time of its preparation. The CTBSSP is governed by a Program Oversight Panel consisting of indi- viduals knowledgeable in the area of commercial truck and bus safety from a number of perspectivesâcommercial truck and bus carriers, key industry trade associations, state regulatory agencies, safety organizations, academia, and related federal agencies. Major responsibilities of the panel are to (1) provide general oversight of the CTBSSP and its procedures, (2) annually select syn- thesis topics, (3) refine synthesis scopes, (4) select researchers to prepare each synthesis, (5) review products, and (6) make publication recommendations. Each year, potential synthesis topics are solicited through a broad indus- try-wide process. Based on the topics received, the Program Oversight Panel selects new synthesis topics based on the level of funding provided by the FMCSA. In late 2002, the Program Oversight Panel selected two task-order contractor teams through a competitive process to conduct syntheses for Fis- cal Years 2003 through 2005. CTBSSP SYNTHESIS 22 Project MC-25 ISSN 1544-6808 ISBN: 978-0-309-22340-9 Library of Congress Control Number 2011941917 Â© 2011 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. COPYRIGHT INFORMATION Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for obtaining written permissions from publishers or persons who own the copyright to any previously published or copyrighted material used herein. Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce material in this publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. Permission is given with the understanding that none of the material will be used to imply TRB, AASHTO, FAA, FHWA, FMCSA, FTA, or Transit Development Corporation endorsement of a particular product, method, or practice. It is expected that those reproducing the material in this document for educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate acknowledgment of the source of any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of the material, request permission from CRP. NOTICE The project that is the subject of this report was a part of the Commercial Truck and Bus Safety Synthesis Program conducted by the Transportation Research Board with the approval of the Governing Board of the National Research Council. Such approval reflects the Governing Boardâs judgment that the program concerned is appropriate with respect to both the purposes and resources of the National Research Council. The members of the technical committee selected to monitor this project and to review this report were chosen for recognized scholarly competence and with due consideration for the balance of disciplines appropriate to the project. The opinions and conclusions expressed or implied are those of the research agency that performed the research, and, while they have been accepted as appropriate by the technical panel, they are not necessarily those of the Transportation Research Board, the National Research Council, or the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Each report is reviewed and accepted for publication by the technical panel according to procedures established and monitored by the Transportation Research Board Executive Committee and the Governing Board of the National Research Council. The Transportation Research Board, the National Research Council, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (sponsor of the Commercial Truck and Bus Safety Synthesis Program) do not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturersâ names appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the clarity and completeness of the project reporting. Published reports of the COMMERCIAL TRUCK AND BUS SAFETY SYNTHESIS PROGRAM are available from: Transportation Research Board Business Office 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 and can be ordered through the Internet at: http://www.national-academies.org/trb/bookstore Printed in the United States of America
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished schol- ars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. On the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and techni- cal matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Acad- emy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achieve- ments of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, on its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the AcademyÃs purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Acad- emy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. The Transportation Research Board is one of six major divisions of the National Research Council. The mission of the Transportation Research Board is to provide leadership in transportation innovation and progress through research and information exchange, conducted within a setting that is objective, interdisci- plinary, and multimodal. The Boardâs varied activities annually engage about 7,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest. The program is supported by state transportation departments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transporta- tion, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development of transportation. www.TRB.org www.national-academies.org
CTBSSP OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE CHAIR NORM LITTLER, American Bus Association, Washington, DC MEMBERS LAMONT BYRD, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Washington, DC B. SCOTT CLAFFEY, Great West Casualty Company, Bloomington, ID CHRISTOPHER CREAN, Peter Pan Bus Lines, Inc., Springfield, MA ALESSANDRO âALEXâ GUARIENTO, MV Transportation, Inc., Plano, TX STEPHEN A. KEPLER, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, Greenbelt, MD BRENDA LANTZ, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND DEAN NEWELL, Maverick Transportation LLC, N. Little Rock, AR DAVID OSIECKI, American Trucking Associations, Alexandria, VA E. JAN SKOUBY, Missouri Department of Transportation, Jefferson City, MO TOM WEAKLEY, OwnerâOperator Independent Drivers Association Foundations, Grain Valley, MO GREER WOODRUFF, J. B. Hunt Transport, Inc., Lowell, AR CHRISTOPHER ZEILINGER, Community Transport Association of America, Washington, DC FMCSA LIAISON ALBERT ALVAREZ MARTIN WALKER FHWA LIAISON EWA FLOM JOHN C. NICHOLAS APTA LIAISON GREG HULL AASHTO LIAISON LEO PENNE TRB LIAISON CHARLES W. NIESSNER RICHARD PAIN SYNTHESIS STUDIES STAFF STEPHEN R. GODWIN, Director for Studies and Special Programs JON M. WILLIAMS, Program Director, IDEA and Synthesis Studies JO ALLEN GAUSE, Senior Program Officer GAIL R. STABA, Senior Program Officer DONNA L. VLASAK, Senior Program Officer TANYA M. ZWAHLEN, Consultant DON TIPPMAN, Senior Editor CHERYL KEITH, Senior Program Assistant DEMISHA WILLIAMS, Senior Program Assistant DEBBIE IRVIN, Program Associate ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Many individuals and organizations contributed to this research project. Fundamental information was provided by the survey respondents, both carrier safety managers and other experts. Ten carrier ownersâmanagers also participated in interviews regarding their carrierâs priority safety problems and safety management methods. Because the surveys and interviews were anonymous, participants cannot be identi- fied and thanked individually. The project team and TRB are grateful to all respondents for taking the time to provide information and expert judgments to support the project. The University of Minnesota, Morris, under the supervision of Dr. Stephen V. Burks, Associate Professor of Economics and Management, supported the project literature review, other information gathering, and manuscript development. MaineWay Services, Inc., was the prime contractor. The project team is grateful to five commercial motor vehicle indus- try associations that supported the safety manager survey by soliciting member participation in the online survey. This project would not have been possible without the active support of these organizations: â¢ American Bus Association (ABA) â¢ Bus Industry Safety Council (BISC) â¢ National Association of Small Trucking Companies (NASTC) â¢ OwnerâOperators Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) â¢ United Motorcoach Association (UMA). Other organizations providing information on ongoing or recent research or other programs included: â¢ American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) â¢ American Trucking Associations (ATA) â¢ Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) â¢ TRB Committee on Truck and Bus Safety Research (ANB70) â¢ TRB Committee on Trucking Industry Research (AT060) â¢ Volpe National Transportation Systems Center.
Administrators, commercial truck and bus carriers, government regulators, and researchers often face problems for which information already exists, either in documented form or as undocumented experience and practice. This information may be fragmented, scattered, and underevaluated. As a consequence, full knowledge of what has been learned about a prob- lem may not be brought to bear on its solution. Costly research findings may go unused, valuable experience may be overlooked, and due consideration may not be given to recom- mended practices for solving or alleviating the problem. There is information available on nearly every subject of concern to commercial truck and bus safety. Much of it derives from research or from the work of practitioners faced with problems in their day-to-day jobs. To provide a systematic means for assembling and evaluating such useful information and to make it available to the commercial truck and bus industry, the Commercial Truck and Bus Safety Synthesis Program (CTBSSP) was established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to undertake a series of studies to search out and synthesize useful knowledge from all available sources and to prepare documented reports on current practices in the subject areas of concern. Reports from this endeavor constitute the CTBSSP Synthesis series, which collects and assembles information into single concise documents pertaining to specific commercial truck and bus safety problems. The CTBSSP, administered by the Transportation Research Board, was authorized in late 2001 and began in 2002 in support of the FMCSAâs safety research programs. The program initiates several synthesis studies annually that address issues in the area of commercial truck and bus safety. A synthesis report is a document that summarizes existing practice in a specific technical area based typically on a literature search and a survey of relevant orga- nizations (e.g., state DOTs, enforcement agencies, commercial truck and bus companies, or other organizations appropriate for the specific topic). The primary users of the syntheses are practitioners who work on issues or problems using diverse approaches in their individ- ual settings. This synthesis series reports on various practices; each document is a compendium of the best knowledge available on measures found to be successful in resolving specific problems. To develop these syntheses in a comprehensive manner and to ensure inclu- sion of significant knowledge, available information assembled from numerous sources is analyzed. For each topic, the project objectives are (1) to locate and assemble documented information; (2) to learn what practices have been used for solving or alleviating prob- lems; (3) to identify relevant, ongoing research; (4) to learn what problems remain largely unsolved; and (5) to organize, evaluate, and document the useful information that is acquired. Each synthesis is an immediately useful document that records practices that were acceptable within the limitations of the knowledge available at the time of its preparation. FOREWORD The goals of this synthesis were to identify (1) useful practices for safety management in small companies and (2) a logical and practical progression to more active and compre- hensive safety management for small companies as they grow. The report explores small motor carrier strengths and weaknesses and identifies potentially effective safety practices. It found that each companyâs safety outcomes are more reflective of its own safety practice and operating environment than whether it is large or small. The audience for this study includes small motor managers, as well as government and industry officials. This report reviewed research on motor carrier safety, safety management, and orga- nizational management, in general. Literature review searches were performed using websites, academic databases, books, trade press publications, and articles. In addition, members and friends of TRB Truck and Bus Safety and Trucking Industry Research PREFACE By Donna L. Vlasak Senior Program Officer Transportation Research Board
Committees, FMCSA Analysis Division, and the U.S.DOT Volpe National Transporta- tion Systems Center provided materials. The project survey of five truck and bus industry trade associationsâ members was a con- venience sample of individuals judged qualitatively to best represent the target population and whose support was critical to the success and validity of the work. Organizations included the American Bus Association (ABA), Bus Industry Safety Council (BISC), National Asso- ciation of Small Trucking Companies (NASTC), OwnerâOperator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), and the United Motorcoach Association (UMA). These survey respondent groups (112â79 truck and 33 bus) of interested, knowledgeable individuals provided indications of industry thinking from different perspectives. A select group of ten small motor carriersâ were interviewed for confidential case studies on safety management problems and practices. These ten provided substantial information on innovative small carrier safety practices. Ronald R. Knipling, Safety for the Long Haul, Arlington, Virginia, and Kenna C. Nelson, University of Minnesota at Morris, with the support of Gene Bergoffen, MaineWay Ser- vices, Inc., Fryeburg, Maine, and Stephen V. Burks, University of Minnesota at Morris, col- lected and synthesized the information and wrote the report. The Commercial Truck and Bus Safety Synthesis Program Oversight Committee members are acknowledged on the preceding page. This synthesis is an immediately useful document that records the practices that were acceptable within the limitations of the knowledge available at the time of its preparation. As progress in research and practice continues, new knowledge will be added to that now at hand.
CONTENTS 1 SUMMARY 3 CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION Background, 3 Methodology and Major Sources, 4 Disclaimers, 5 6 CHAPTER TWO SURVEY METHODS AND RESULTS Survey Method, 6 Survey Results, 8 17 CHAPTER THREE CASE STUDIES Trucking Companies, 17 Bus Companies, 29 33 CHAPTER FOUR EVIDENCE REVIEW Business, Operational, and Safety Management in Small Companies, 33 Small Carrier Violation and Crash Rates, 38 Vehicle Equipment and Maintenance, 41 Operational Planning and Risk Avoidance, 43 Driver Hiring, 45 Driver Orientation, Training, and Communications, 48 Driver Supervision, 51 Crash and Incident Investigation, 55 Carrier Performance Tracking and Benchmarking, 56 Management Development, 57 Systematic Approaches to Motor Carrier Safety Management, 59 65 CHAPTER FIVE CONCLUSIONS AND FURTHER RESEARCH Study Survey Findings, 65 Small Carrier Safety Performance, Advantages, and Disadvantages, 66 Improving Small Carrier Safety Management, 68 Research and Development Needs, 71 73 REFERENCES 77 ACRONYMS 78 GLOSSARY 79 APPENDIX A SURVEY FORM TEXT Note: Many of the photographs, figures, and tables in this report have been converted from color to grayscale for printing. The electronic version of the report (posted on the Web at www.trb.org) retains the color versions.