Comparison of Characteristics and Contributory Causes of Fatal Truck and Non-Truck Crashes Using Bayesian Statistical Analysis

One-ninth of all traffic fatalities in the United States have involved large trucks in the past five years although trucks consisted of only 3% of the registered vehicles and 7% of the vehicle miles traveled. This contrasting proportion indicates that truck crashes in general tend to be more severe than other crashes though they constitute to a smaller sector of the vehicles on roads. To study this issue, fatal crash data from Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) was analyzed to identify the characteristics and factors contributing to truck involved crashes. Driver, vehicle, and crash related contributory factors were identified and as an extension the likelihood of occurrence of these factors in truck involved crashes with respect to non-truck crashes was evaluated using Bayesian Statistical approach. The likelihood ratios for factors like stopped or unattended vehicles or improper following have greater probability in truck crashes than in non-truck crashes. Other factors such as cellular phone usage, failure to yield right of way, inattentiveness, and failure to obey traffic rules also have a greater probability in fatal truck crashes. Inadequate warning signs and poor shoulder conditions were also found to have greater predominance in contributing to truck crashes than non-truck crashes. Several other factors have been observed for the better understanding of the characteristics and contributory factors for fatal truck crashes. By addressing these factors through the implementation of appropriate remedial measures fatal truck crash rate can be reduced, which can help in improving the overall safety of the transportation system.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: DVD
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 15p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 89th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers DVD

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01157174
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 10-1038
  • Files: BTRIS, TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jan 25 2010 10:28AM