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Research Project
Analysis of Commercial Vehicle Driver Traffic Conviction Data to Identify High Safety Risk Motor Carriers

Preliminary Report (PDF, 189K)

This project explores the idea of using commercial motor vehicle driver traffic conviction data from the Commercial Driver License Information System (CDLIS) to better identify high safety risk motor carriers. CDLIS data is the only existing nationwide source of traffic conviction data. CDLIS is not really a single database, but a linkage between the various distributed state driver records systems. Its successful use as a pointer to high risk motor carriers would eliminate the need to create a new national driver citation/conviction information system. Serious institutional barriers have thus far prevented creation of any such data collection system. The most critical problem with using CDLIS data in this way is that it also does not identify motor carriers employing the driver.

This study uses computer technology to link drivers to motor carriers from their inspection and crash records, and then queries the driving records from CDLIS. An analysis of the drivers' traffic conviction records is conducted and a relative driver quality index is derived for each motor carrier. This index is then compared against the company's crash and inspection history to determine if a correlation exists. In addition, "high risk" carriers identified through this process are compared with those identified through other FMCSA prioritization techniques. Recommendations are given for possible ways that FMCSA could use this information to help improve the effectiveness of their enforcement programs.

Principal Investigator: Brenda Lantz

For more information about this project, please email Brenda Lantz brenda.lantz@ndsu.edu.

NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050