Jill Bernard Bracy
About the research
Large truck transport is vital for freight shipping in the United States; yet, it can prove to be a dangerous mode of transportation. From 2002 to 2012, 91,145 crashes involving large trucks occurred in Missouri, resulting in 1,156 fatalities and 18,457 injuries. Many factors contribute to large-truck crash severity, and it is theorized that these factors and their effect on injury severity vary as a function of gender.
Missouri traffic and personal and vehicle crash data from 2002 to 2012 were used to analyze situations that increase the probability of injuries and fatalities, given a large-truck crash occurs. Chi-squared automatic interaction dedication (CHAID) decision trees were developed to predict values of injury severity based on environmental factors, contributing circumstances, and gender, to better understand predictor importance and uncover interactions among factors.
Results suggest that the major contributory predictors for crash severity for Missouri female drivers include: driving too fast for conditions, driving on the wrong side of the road, improper backing, speeding, and improper turning. Major contributing predictors for Missouri male drivers include: driving too fast for conditions, improper backing, violation of stop sign or signal, improper turning, and failing to secure loads. Additional results suggest that, when speeding, the probability for a fatality is 14.29% for Missouri female commercial driver’s license (CDL) drivers and an injury is 28.57%, given a crash occurs. For Missouri male CDL drivers, when driving too fast for conditions on the wrong side of the road, an 8.70% and 48.91% probability for fatality and injury exists, respectively.
Therefore, the researchers recommend that truck driver training programs focus on gender-specific behaviors that impact crash injury severity in order to enhance road safety measures.
Midwest Transportation Center
Contract Number: DTRT13-G-UTC37