« Back to Focus Areas

Characterizing Commercial Vehicle Safety in Rural Montana

Started: October, 1999 Ended: June, 2001 Project ID #428470 Status: Completed


To characterize commercial vehicle safety on the basis of carrier, vehicle, driver, cargo and other characteristics using statistical modeling methods. Results will allow better targeting of unsafe vehicles.


Crashes involving commercial vehicles significantly impact travel in rural Montana. Unlike commercial vehicle crashes that occur in urban areas, commercial vehicle crashes typically involve a single vehicle, occur at higher speeds, are more severe and take longer to be detected. Because of Montana's large geographic expanse, post crash improvements such as reduced emergency medical response times to the crash, are challenged. Instead, efforts should focus on commercial vehicle crash prevention. If trends in commercial vehicle safety levels-particularly poor safety levels-can be noted in this investigation, regulatory and enforcement agencies can better target resources to address these safety related challenges. For example, if the commercial vehicle safety-related data were to indicate low safety levels for out-of-state drivers, carriers with small vehicle fleets, and haulers of flatbed trailers; both roadside and carrier-based safety inspections could be performed with these characteristics in mind. On the roadside, regulatory and enforcement personnel could adjust their selection of commercial vehicles for roadside safety inspections; currently vehicles are selected for safety inspections on the basis of historical accident or safety records. As part of a more detailed carrier based inspection program, regulatory and enforcement personnel could perhaps increase the frequency of safety inspections for carriers possessing the characteristics that show a lower safety level.


Files & Documents

Sponsors & Partners

  • Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) Sponsor
  • Research and Innovation Technology Administration (RITA) Co-Sponsor

Part of: Safety and Operations

Project Tagged In: safety, Trucking, Motor Carriers

« Back to Focus Areas