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Research Project
Development and Implementation of a Driver Safety History Indicator into the Roadside Inspection Selection System

The majority of prior research and analysis has pointed toward driver-related factors as the main cause of most commercial vehicle-related crashes. The main goal of the current project is to provide a greater concentration on the commercial driver in order to have the most profound impact on the number of crashes. The ultimate outcome of this study is to save lives, prevent injuries, and prevent property damage associated with commercial vehicle-related crashes.

To accomplish this crash reduction goal, the current study combined and expanded on two previous research efforts — the development of the Inspection Selection System, and a project analyzing the use of driver traffic conviction data to better identify high safety risk motor carriers.

The Inspection Selection System is an algorithm and software program used by safety inspectors at the roadside to help identify which vehicles and drivers to inspect based on prior carrier safety history. The ISS has been in use nationwide since 1995, and has demonstrated to be very effective in identifying drivers and vehicles of carriers that are most likely to be place out-of-service for safety problems. The ISS inspection value and information can be accessed by roadside inspectors either through the ISS software, or through the web application, Query Central.

The conviction data study concluded that linking driver conviction data from the Commercial Driver's License Information System to the employing motor carrier provides an additional method to identify those motor carrier companies with safety problems. A carrier driver conviction measure created based on the average number of convictions of drivers associated with carriers is significantly correlated with the carriers' out-of-service (OOS) rates, crash rates, and SafeStat Safety Evaluation Area (SEA) scores. Carriers with higher (worse) driver conviction measures are also more likely to have higher OOS rates, crash rates, and SEA scores.

To accomplish the greater focus on the commercial driver, the first objective of the current project was to further analyze the data and weightings associated with the carrier driver conviction measure created through the conviction data study. Utilizing the results of this first objective, the second objective of the present project was to then integrate the carrier driver conviction measure into the current Inspection Selection System and conduct a pilot test of this new ISS algorithm, termed ISS-D. As part of this implementation, an analysis was conducted regarding the current level of technology available in the various states, and what technology may be of the greatest use to improve the ability to obtain ISS information. In addition, a proof of concept field test was also conducted.

Results from the pilot test indicate an approximate 10 percent increase in driver out-of-service rates after the ISS-D algorithm implementation. In addition, there was an almost doubling of the driver out-of-service rate when ISS-D recommended the inspection. Based on these results, ISS-D was fully implemented as a production system beginning March 2007.

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

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