The United States Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently announced plans to conduct a new study regarding the various factors that cause commercial motor vehicle (CMV) accidents (FMCSA Looks to Update Large Truck Crash Causal Factors Study. On January 15, 2020, the agency published a Request for Information asking for public comment on designing and conducting the Large Truck Crash Causal Factors Study (LTCCFS), which is intended to identify factors contributing to large truck crashes.
The FMCSA previously conducted a Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS) in 2001–2003, which analyzed the factors contributing to accidents involving a minimum of one CMV. The original study collected data across the country at 24 different sites of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) National Automotive Sampling System Crashworthiness Data System. The study determined that, in accidents primarily caused by the large truck, driver-related action or inaction was usually a factor.
The FMCSA requested responses to four specific questions regarding the new study, due March 16, 2020:
- Should the FMCSA pursue a nationally representative sampling approach or can convenience sampling serve the needs?
- What type of study are you recommending (nationally representative vs. convenience sampling), and what are the pros and cons of this approach?
- How important is it for the new study results to be comparable with the findings of the original LTCCS?
- What other sources of data can enrich the new study? How can they be identified and included?
The information collected from the original study included:
- Crash scene description, including roadway and weather
- Vehicle rollover, fire, jackknife, cargo shift, and component problems with brakes, tires, steering, engine, and lights
- Trip information, including intended start time, purpose, intended length, and familiarity with the route
After the original study was published, fatal accidents involving large trucks decreased until 2009, but they have steadily increased since that time. Everything from vehicle safety technology to drivers’ use of social media has changed in the last 15 years. Please do your part to help improve CMV safety by offering your best responses to the Request for Information, because you can be sure the trucking industry will continue its long history of prioritizing profits over safety.
If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident involving a large truck or bus, please contact Shamberg, Johnson & Bergman for a free consultation. We will only receive a fee in the event of a successful resolution of your case.