FMCSA Preps Truck Crash Causation Study

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has taken the first step toward launching a fresh study of factors that contribute to crashes involving large trucks. While the study will look at all collision categories (tow-away, injury and fatal), FMCSA Acting Administrator Jim Mullen indicated the driving force for the new study is concern over the rising number of fatalities from such crashes.

“When I assumed this role as acting administrator three months ago, I was asked my top priorities,” Mullen said in his keynote remarks at the start of the agency’s annual Analysis, Research, and Technology public sessions on Jan. 13 in Washington, DC.

“That to me was a no-brainer,” he continued. “The top priority is to reverse the four-year trend of increasing fatalities involved with large trucks.”

He noted that the agency last studied crash causation 15 years ago. In the years since, the data available to inform such studies has grown by leaps and bounds, including the reams of it now being captured by mandated electronic logging devices.

FMCSA took the first step toward launching a new crash study by publishing a Request for Information notice in the Federal Register for Jan. 15. The notice states that the agency is seeking input on how best to design and conduct a study to identify factors contributing to all FMCSA-reportable large truck crashes.

Goals of New Study

The notice states that the study’s goal is to “help improve FMCSA and its state partners’ ability” to:

  • Evaluate crashes involving large trucks and identify emerging trends;
  • Monitor crash trends and identify causes and contributing factors; and
  • Develop effective safety improvement policies and programs.

FMCSA is seeking public comment on the Request for Information, which must be received on or before March 16.

Comments should indicate they are for Docket ID FMCSA-2019-0277 .

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