This paper focuses on the "high-risk" driver. The author was a co-author of a report, "Individual Differences and the "High-risk" Commercial Driver" prepared for the Transportation Research Board; Commercial Truck and Bus Synthesis Program.

This presentation highlights the efforts and results of this Study. For a complete copy of thereport go to

Most truck and bus drivers are both conscientious and safe, but the findings of the reportsupport the notion, and widespread industry belief, that a relatively small percentage of commercial drivers are associated with a significant and inordinate percentage of the overall motor carrier crash risk.

This paper will attempt to document this phenomenon, explore related factors, and identifyways that the high-risk driver can be targeted by various safety management practices and other safety interventions. Expert industry opinion was accessed through survey questionnaires on the topic. The research literature on the topic was reviewed, with emphasis on the personal factors associated with risk and management approaches to reducing the problem. The literature review focused primarily on transportation operators in the truck and bus industry, but also includesother modes such as air, rail, and maritime.

Fleet safety managers are the principal audience for this paper. In addition, it should be useful to government, industry, and academic personnel involved in formulating and conductingstudies to gain new knowledge (i.e., research) and to create new tools (development) relating tothis safety topic.

One basis for the report was survey data collected from fleet safety managers, and other experts in motor carrier safety. Safety manager surveys were distributed primarily through arandom sample mailing to carriers listed in the American Trucking Associations fleet directory. Inaddition, survey forms were sent to respondents from a previous study (also on carrier safety management) and, in order to obtain motorcoach segment respondents, some were distributed tomembers of the American Bus Association Safety Council. The overall safety manager survey return rate was about 15%, so the sample cannot be described as representing the CMV industry in general. Instead, it represents 178 safety-conscious managers from a variety of CMV operations.

A second survey sample consisted of 67 "other experts". These are individuals professionally involved in fleet safety but who are not fleet safety managers. This includes former drivers andfleet managers, government regulatory and enforcement personnel, industry trade associationrepresentatives, and researchers. Of course, these are overlapping categories and most "otherexperts" indicated several different fleet safety-related professional experience areas.

The safety manager and "other expert" survey forms were parallel in their questions and content, but there was one key difference. Regarding management practices, safety managers were asked if they currently used the method and then, if "yes," they were asked to rate its effectiveness. This yielded data on the percent of fleet managers actually using various methods, and opinions of effectiveness of respondents actually using the methods.

This content is only available via PDF.
You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.