The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) has released a survey to find out how truck drivers feel about the government’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program.
About the Survey
The survey is anonymous and results will be released toward the end of 2012. Last year, the survey gathered answers from nearly 5,000 truck drivers, which was incredibly helpful in identifying general attitudes and awareness. It is mutually beneficial for drivers and the government as program details can always be improved.
The survey addresses all of the following issues:
• Your concerns about CSA’s effect on employment.
• The changes you have seen since CSA was implemented.
• Whether you have viewed the driver data available as a result of CSA.
• How your employer has reacted to the program.
• How much you know about CSA.
The CSA was created by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) to increase safety by reducing accidents on the road that lead to injuries or death among both drivers and passengers. The new rules apply to all carriers that drive from one state to another while carrying more than 10,000 pounds.
How to Take It
Some truck drivers are wary of programs like CSA because they assume their employment is threatened. Similarly, carriers may think their employees will be unfairly penalized or even terminated, but this is not the point of CSA. In fact, the program does not have the power to take away jobs. Instead, its main focus is to keep track of drivers and carriers with unsafe practices so that they can be educated on how to do things correctly. In this way, drivers, carriers, and everyone on the road should benefit from CSA.
Due to the many misconceptions of CSA, ATRI intends to use the survey to find out how the program is perceived among carriers and drivers with the assumption that additional education will be necessary to help everyone understand how it works. This is why you are encouraged to take the survey, especially if you have concerns about CSA that you would like to see addressed.
The American Transportation Research Institute recently released the results to its latest survey concerning truckers and the CSA. The survey showed that 4,555 truck drivers have a poor understanding of the government’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability program. Out of all the truckers who participated in the survey not one answered all 14 questions right. In fact, participants scored an average of 5.71 out of 14, or 41 percent. It is clear drivers need to be educated on the new CSA program and how it will affect their jobs and their industry.
Reports say the results have initially caused more job security concerns. Nearly two-thirds of drivers are somewhat or extremely concerned that they will lose their jobs as a result of CSA. TheTrucker.com recommends enhanced driver knowledge and support through multiple training and education sessions, as well as other sources of familiarization. Getloaded.com went more in depth to say that attitudes were neutral for drivers who had no training, somewhat negative for drivers with one training session and somewhat positive for drivers with multiple sessions. In other words, drivers who received more than one training session from their employer were the only group who had a positive perspective on the program.
Based on this study, drivers’ ability to better understand, appreciate and correctly follow CSA begins with employer education. Ed Crowell, Georgia Motor Trucking Association President and CEO, commented “ATRI’s study clearly points out that motor carriers, state trucking associations and FMCSA collectively need to do more to educate drivers about CSA and what it does and doesn’t mean for their jobs.”
A breakdown of the results can be found here and a copy of the survey can be obtained at the ATRI website.
Truck-involved accidents happen for a variety of reasons, but some of these causes are more likely to bring about an accident than others. Everyone knows the major causes such as speeding, drunk driving, fatigued driving, and distracted driving, but what if there was a way to predict the likeliness of accidents based on truckers’ previous convictions for driving offenses?
The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) used data from the Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS) and the Commercial Drivers License Information System (CDLIS) to calculate how likely a driver was to crash after he or she had had a violation of some sort. Driver data was gathered from a two-year time frame (2008-2009) and analyzed across those years to determine the future crash predictability of violations, convictions and crashes which occurred the previous year.
The ATRI’s study was based on data from 587,772 U.S. truck drivers. “The analysis shows that a ‘failure to use/improper signal’ conviction was the leading conviction associated with an increased likelihood of a future crash.” When drivers are convicted of this offense they become 96% more likely to be involved in a crash. The rest of the top 5 violations rounded out like this: a past crash (88%), improper passing violation (88%), improper turn conviction (84%), and improper or erratic lane change conviction (80%).
The study listed 5 other significant factors that ranged between 60% and 70% increased likelihood. The top 5 all have one thing in common: a driver’s blind spots. Because trucks are so much larger than other vehicles they have bigger blind spots and therefore cannot see other, smaller vehicles. Sometimes a crash is not always the trucker’s fault because drivers have to be aware of these blind spots and know to avoid them.
Even though 2010 reported the lowest number of fatalities since 1949, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) still believes they can outdo themselves in terms of crashes by continually improving highway safety. ATRI’s research should prove very beneficial in improving highway safety, especially when it comes to trucking accidents. Their numbers can provide bases on which to create regulations that will reprimand repeat offenders to deter them from committing the same, accident-increasing violations. If there is a bigger penalty for repeat offenders then drivers will be less likely to make the same careless mistake twice.