Research Papers

Causes of collisions involving one large truck and one passenger vehicle in the United States

Filename Ellis.pdf
Filesize 280 KB
Version 1
Date added June 6, 2010
Downloaded 4 times/fois
Category 2010 CMRSC XX Niagara
Tags Session 7A
Author/Auteur Mike Ellis, Craig Good


It has been estimated that passenger vehicles are involved in twice as many collisions as large trucks, per distance traveled. This discrepancy may present significant opportunities to policy makers and others involved in road safety to reduce collisions involving passenger vehicles. If it were possible to reduce the crash rate of passenger vehicles to that of large trucks, thousands of lives would be saved each year and many more injuries avoided. The purpose of this study was to investigate the crash rate discrepancy between large trucks and passenger vehicles. A recent study, entitled the Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS), was conducted by the United States’ Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA), National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), and the Department of Transportation (DOT). The LTCCS was the first-ever national study to attempt to determine the critical events and associated factors that contribute to serious large truck crashes. The LTCCS provided a very detailed, in-depth look at just over 1000 serious large truck crashes. The LTCCS investigators conducted an in- depth investigation of each collision and tabulated details including the critical reason for the crash and relevant contributors. Those collisions involving only one large truck and one passenger vehicle were selected for study. A data analysis was conducted on the collision sample to determine trends in crash causation and make direct comparisons between the two populations. Four hundred and eighty-six collisions met the study criteria. The passenger vehicle was assigned the critical reason for the crash in 66% of the collisions studied. Human factors were the critical reason for 90% of all the collisions. Vehicle problems and environmental conditions were the critical reason in only 8% of the collisions. In the sample of collisions including both a large truck and a passenger vehicle, passenger vehicle drivers were much more likely than large truck drivers to cause a collision due to falling asleep, health problems, distraction, inattention, inadequate surveillance, and poor reaction. They were also much more likely to drive while under the influence of alcohol.

Mike Ellis and Craig Good