Investigation of Driver Training Curricula Effectiveness

The objective of this project was to assess the effectiveness of different types and amounts of commercial driver’s license (CDL) entry-level driver training (ELDT) in improving driver safety performance. Earlier research indicated that existing CDL ELDT was not adequate. About 75 percent of the fleets surveyed in the 2001 I-95 Corridor Coalition Coordinated Safety Management study required new drivers to complete finishing training with an experienced driver before driving solo. This widespread application of “driver finishing” programs provides an indication of the need for improved CDL ELDT. Finishing programs provide newly-licensed CDL drivers with additional training and/or supervised driving time beyond that needed to obtain the CDL to ensure a minimum operational skill level is met, after the drivers obtain their valid CDLs. In recent years, synthesis studies under the Transportation Research Board’s Commercial Truck and Bus Synthesis Program examined the effectiveness of commercial vehicle driver training. The variance in safety performance in those reports was not sufficient to provide a meaningful relationship between the value of formal ELDT and the safety performance of those drivers. This study was designed to augment a review of the driver training effectiveness literature. It collected data from carrier fleets and commercial driver training programs to identify and evaluate the safety outcomes of various ELDT regimens. The project also sought qualitative information on how several fleets have experienced potentially different driver safety results from different applied curricula. The project examined the differences in safety performance of drivers in States with more CDL training requirements versus States with no training requirements. A final report is under Agency review.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Milestones: November 2012: Kick-off meeting and review of draft work plan; December 2012: Finalize project work plan; March 2013: Augmented literature review; November 2013: Carrier qualitative information; December 2014: Insights from insurance providers and results from training schools; May 2015: Analysis of CDL driver performance data; June 2015: Draft final report presentation.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $375,000
  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Goettee, David

  • Performing Organizations:

    Maineway Services

    10 Tamarack Drive
    Fryeburg, ME  United States  04037
  • Start Date: 20120000
  • Expected Completion Date: 20150430
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01592621
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
  • Files: RIP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Mar 3 2016 1:29PM