Study update identifies driver behaviors that can predict crashes

Updated Oct 14, 2022
Truck accident

A new study released earlier this week identifies 25 different driving violations and/or convictions that increased the likelihood of future truck crashes. The study also found having a previous crash increased a truck driver's probability of having a future crash by 113 percent.

The American Transportation Research Institute's study "Predicting Truck Crash Involvement: 2022 Update" also identified five behaviors that have consistently been strong indicators of future crash involvement across three or more such reports. They include:

  • Reckless driving violation
  • Failure to use/improper signal conviction
  • A prior crash
  • Failure to yield right-of-way violation
  • Improper or erratic lane changes conviction

The report includes an updated list of the 10 Top Tier States for truck safety, ranked by the relationship between traffic enforcement inspections and crashes. Washington State was the top-ranked state, followed by Indiana, New Mexico, Arizona, and Massachusetts.

The study also found drivers younger than 21 years old have statistically fewer crashes than those 24 years and older. However, the report cautions "it should be noted that the sample size is substantially smaller for drivers under the age of 21 and should therefore be interpreted with caution."

Additionally, the report says, "Based on investigations conducted in the 2022 Crash Predictor update, males continue to be more likely than females to have violations, convictions and crash involvement for all statistically significant events." It adds, "Males are 14 percent more likely to be involved in a crash than females – a 30.0 percent decrease from the 2018 report." 

ATRI's Crash Predictor research, originally published in 2005 with updates in 2011 and 2018, designed and tested a predictive model that identified statistically significant relationships between truck driver safety behaviors and future crash probability. The new 2022 report uses the same statistical methods, and is based on more than 580,000 individual truck driver records.

A full copy of the report is available through ATRI's website here.

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