Analysis of the Relationship of Roadside Inspections on Large Truck Crashes

About 3,341 large truck related fatal crashes happened in United States in 2011 and more than 3,700 people died, which counted for more than 11% of all motor vehicle fatal crashes and fatalities, even though large trucks only accounted for 4% of registered vehicles and 9% of vehicle-miles traveled (VMT) (USDOT, 2013). Large truck VMT decreased 6.7% from 2010 to 2011 however, large truck related fatal crashes still increased 2% from 2010 to 2011 (USDOT, 2013). To reduce serious accidents involving these vehicles, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) [formerly the Federal Highway Administration Office of Motor Carriers] provides support for states to perform roadside inspections of commercial vehicles (large trucks, commercial buses, and hazardous materials vehicles) and drivers, compliance reviews and other safety programs (GAO, 1997). On-site reviews of motor carriers’ compliance with federal safety regulation are known as compliance reviews, which can be used to determine a safety fitness rating. The safety rating is used to determine how well each carrier is fit to operate safely on the nation’s highway. Roadside inspections occur on a particular driver or vehicle, most often when the driver/vehicle is en route to their destination. Violations found during the inspection can be divided into two groups: 1) minor and 2) out-of-service (OOS). Minor means those violations do not pose any immediate danger and the driver/vehicle can return on the road even before the violations are fixed. Out-of- service violations are those that require the vehicle/driver violations to be fixed immediately before it can return back to service. The purpose of the OOS is to ensure that a vehicle and/or its driver are not allowed to proceed back on the road until the conditions are safe. In return, it can decrease accident rates caused by mechanical defects. (Randhawa, Miller, Bell and Montagne, 1998). Even though, some researchers found that there are some problems such as an officer can’t always remain at the site to make sure the violation is corrected (Patten, 1989), great numbers of researchers still found that the roadside inspection is a useful tool to remove some potential unsafe vehicles from the highway and reduces commercial vehicle accident rate. (Patten, 1989; GAO, 1997; Mitchell, Friswell, and Mooren, 2012; Schoor, Niekerk, and Grobbelaar, 2001; Randhawa, Miller, Bell and Montagne, 1998; Hall, and Intihar, 1997). Previous researchers shed light for helping to better understand the relationships among the commercial vehicle safety performance, roadside inspection data, and motor carrier’s position (Lantz, B.M. 1993; Britto, R.A., Corsi, T.M., and Grimm, C.M., 2010), however, many of such research are out dated. Moreover, very few previous researchers focus on small motor carriers. There is need to revisit investigating the relationship among motor carrier’s position (such as size, and financial status), safety performance, and roadside inspection data. This research will provide additional evidence on such relationships especially for various sized motor carriers. In addition, the trend in the relationships will be provided by comparing the most up-to-date analysis with previous ones.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $150000
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    University Transportation Centers Program
    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    Mountain-Plains Consortium

    North Dakota State University
    P.O. Box 6050, Department 2880
    Fargo, ND  United States  58108-6050
  • Project Managers:

    Kline, Robin

  • Performing Organizations:

    Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute

    North Dakota State University
    Fargo, ND  United States 
  • Principal Investigators:

    Lu, Pan

    Lantz, Brenda

  • Start Date: 20150520
  • Expected Completion Date: 20180731
  • Actual Completion Date: 20190515
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program
  • Source Data: MPC-475

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01579592
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Mountain-Plains Consortium
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT13-G-UTC38
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Oct 23 2015 2:15PM