a
Menu
0

800-523-2319experts@tasanet.com

Articles

Two Driver Behavior Red Flags

TASA ID: 9075

I’m a psychologist who has devoted my career to traffic safety, in particular fleet safety.  Two psychological laws of human behavior are the Law of Individual Differences and the Law of Behavioral Consistency (Holland, 1975).  In any group of people, such as a fleet of drivers, one can expect wide differences in behavioral tendencies.  Psychological differences most relevant to safe driving include sensation-seeking, risk perception, impulsivity, and conscientiousness (i.e., obeying rules).  At the same time, each individual’s behavioral tendencies are likely to stay remarkably consistent over time and across various situations.  Indeed, the psychological definition of personality is behavioral consistency over time and across situations.  Future behavior and risk can be predicted based on past behaviors and events.  That’s why we screen fleet drivers for their driving histories and more broadly for their personal histories in other areas of their lives.

Fleet managers should think positively and seek to recognize and reward safe driving and loyal service.  Yet one must be alert for red flags signaling risk.  One bad driver can damage the reputation and even the viability of a whole fleet.  Among those red flags are safety belt non-use and involvement in single-vehicle crashes such as rollovers and run-off-road.

39 Ways To Reduce Driver Fatigue

TASA ID: 9075

Driver fatigue is a persistent safety risk, especially for commercial drivers and other fleet drivers who may be driving at night and/or for long distances.  Falling asleep-at-the-wheel (AATW) is the most dangerous fatigue risk.  A 3-4 second highway “microsleep” means a football field of unguided vehicle motion.  AATW crashes usually occur when drivers nod off and then drift off the road where they strike a fixed object or perhaps roll down an embankment.  Such crashes are often severe.  In fact, fatigue involvement in fatal crashes is five times that of minor crashes (FMCSA, 2014; Tefft, 2012).  In addition to human risks, AATW crashes can be high-liability.  Truck driver AATW cases have resulted in multi-million dollar “nuclear verdicts” when 80,000 lb. trucks strike passenger cars one-twentieth of their size.

Below are 39 ways that these crash risks can be reduced.  A bonus is that many of the same practices reducing driver drowsiness also boost overall human health, well-being and performance.  The first 18 are individual behaviors to promote in fatigue education programs.  The remaining 21 are organizational policies and practices which foster those same positive behaviors and outcomes.

Suicide by Truck

TASA ID: 9075

A 2014 investigational analysis of large truck fatal crashes in Sweden (Bálint et al., 2014) reported that 17% of them were attributable to suspected suicide.  The two major suicide scenarios were cars (or other light vehicles) crossing the highway centerline and pedestrians stepping out in front of trucks.  Another 9% were judged “unknown” for suicide, while the remaining 74% were coded “no.”  An international trucking firm based in Australia reviewed each of its fatal crashes and estimated that 20% or more were suicides, with the majority involving pedestrians (Jones, 2020).

 

100% Defense Verdict in Forklift Case

Reviewed by a Mechanical Engineering Expert Witness

TASA ID: 7934

About 10:30 am on the morning of 26 October 2007, Jose Avalos was delivering slabs of granite to a local installer.  The countertops were being loaned to the installer to be displayed at an open house barbeque for customers that was to take place later that day.  Mr. Avalos brought two A frames and between four and eight slabs of granite on a 20' flatbed gooseneck trailer.
 
Upon arrival, two of the installers employees proceeded to unload the truck.  One of them drove a Hyster forklift that had a custom boom attached to the forks and had a gravity clamp (Abaco Lifter) that hung down from the end of the boom.  The lifter was at the end of the boom. The setup is shown below:

Commercial Transportation Hours of Service Rule:

The Effect on Driver Behavior

TASA ID: 6742

Abstract


In an effort to decrease accidents and unsafe practices and determine cause, this applied dissertation researched the impact of the Hours of Service rule implemented by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on commercial driver and commercial carrier behaviors. The Hours of Service rule served as a method to increase safety on highways by regulating and monitoring the driving hours of the commercial driver. This study attempted to discover whether this rule had an impact on driver behavior as well as commercial carrier behavior. 

This study was designed to answer questions directed toward safety, compliance, and effective ways to assert safety compliance including if the Hours of Service rules are effective in modifying behaviors associated with safety, whether the Hours of Service rules are effective in modifying behaviors associated with compliance, and if the Hours of Service rules an effective way to assert safety compliance within the commercial transportation industry.

To arrive at these conclusions, the researcher conducted a study that used surveys completed by commercial drivers and motor carrier representatives. It was determined that overall, most drivers agree that various methods of enforcement are necessary; they do not necessarily abide by them. The primary reason given was the loss of financial gain that adherence creates.  The study may benefit businesses, individuals, and communities that are involved in the transportation industry by adapting methods of enforcement that do not penalize a driver financially. The solution can be as simple as an increase in wages for the driver. 

This may not be of financial benefit to the motor carrier company in the form of immediate profit but serves as a profit in the form of avoidance of probable law suits initiated by persons affected in a motor carrier accident. It is also of profit to the motor carrier in reduced insurance premiums and equipment replacement.

 

To read more, download the article below. 


RSS
1234

Theme picker

Categories

Loading
  • Let Us Find Your Expert

  • Note: This form is to be completed by legal and insurance professionals ONLY. If you are a party in a case that requires an expert witness, please have your attorney contact TASA at 800-523-2319.

Search Experts

TASA provides a variety of quality, independent experts who meet your case criteria. Search our extensive list of experts now.

Search Experts
b