Strict state and federal rules and regulations for commercial truck drivers and trucking companies are in place to keep highways and streets as safe as possible. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is constantly developing new ways to help prevent large truck accidents. A recent FMCSA report addresses its naturalistic driving program, which focuses on conducting research and developing tactics to help maintain safety on our nation’s roadways. The FMCSA Deputy Administrator claims that naturalistic driving data has highlighted the most significant findings so far in terms of driver behavior and information to further implement effective safety measures.
The FMCSA naturalistic driving program was initiated after results from the Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS) showed that the majority of accidents are not caused by defective vehicles or road conditions, but instead are brought on by poor driver performance and human error. The study demonstrated that driver factors were up to 10 times more common than vehicle or environmental factors in events that contributed to accidents involving one truck and one passenger vehicle. The FMCSA has used naturalistic driving data to create new driver fatigue safety monitoring systems; develop new safety practices like onboard monitoring; expand driver training and outreach materials; support the advancement of federal motor carrier safety regulations; and establish a stronger understanding of accidents to help create more effective crash prevention measures.