The Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) looked at nearly 2,800 commercial motor vehicle (CMV) crashes from 2011 through 2014 in 20 counties across the state of Texas. Half of the counties had high levels of oilfield activity. The researchers used statistical tools to identify the top factors associated with more severe crashes. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and TTI’s Center for Transportation Safety funded the project.
“CMV crashes happen every day,” notes TTI Research Scientist David Bierling. “We looked at crash severity when the CMV driver was ‘at-fault’ to sort out the things that trucking companies, truck drivers and law enforcement can do to help make roads safer. We learned which truck driver behaviors and crash factors had the biggest impacts on whether there are injuries and fatalities in crashes. The data also showed that just because a CMV crash happens in the oilfield doesn’t mean it is more likely to be worse than outside the oilfield. CMV crashes can have very serious consequences no matter where they happen. Working with TTI Communications, we developed a two-page fact sheet that tells the story of our research findings.”
This isn’t the end of the road for better understanding of CMV safety, says Bierling. “We can use data and science to tell us which crash factors are important in other counties and states, and look at crashes that happen when CMV drivers are not at fault, like when they get cut off by passenger vehicles. We hope that what we learned can help FMCSA and partners like law enforcement, carriers, truckers and other drivers keep making things safer for everyone on the road.”