Transportation Risk/Loss Control Research Assignment Essay
NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts 2012 Data Overview
1.a The two predominant loss totals that are presented in Table 1 on page 2 of the NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts 2012 Data Overview are: (1) the number of people killed in specified time frames (from 2003 to 2012) where the greatest loss (total number of people killed) was identified in 2005 at 43,510; and (2) the number of people injured for the same time period was greatest in 2003 at 2,889,000 total people injured .
1.b An example of a loss rate presented in Table 1 is the fatality rate per 100,000 population; specifically 14.78 percent in 2003 .
1.c The fundamental difference between a loss total and a loss rate is that the loss total is in absolute number while the loss rate is a percentage where the loss rate is computed using two variables: the fatalities (or injuries) over the number of people in the population
1.d The major advantage of utilizing a loss rate rather than a loss total from an organizational benchmark standpoint is for forecasting or projecting potential losses in future time frames .
2.a The total number of crash-related fatalities and injuries for 2011 and 2012 increased. The total number of fatalities for 2011 was 32,479 and 33,561 for 2012, representing a 3.33% increase. On the other hand, the total number of injuries for 2011 was 2,217,000 and increased to 2,362,000 in 2012, representing a 6.54% rise
2.b The traffic crash fatality rates from a resident population for 2011 to 2012 increased from 10.42 to 10.62; while the injury rates similarly increased from 712 in 2011 to 752 in 2012. Likewise, the fatality rates from a vehicle miles travelled (VMT) standpoint also increased from 1.10 in 2011 to 1.13 in 2012; while the injury rates similarly increased from 75 in 2011 to 80 in 2012 .
2.c The extent of passenger car, large truck and motor-related fatalities in 2011 was reported at
22,510 and increased to 22,012 in 2012. Likewise, injuries for occupants by vehicle type for
2011 was 2,010,000 and increased to 2,134,000 in 2012 .
2.d The extent of non-occupant fatalities for the period 2011 to 2012 also exhibited a similar increase in trend at 5,339 to 5,692, respectively. On the other hand, the non-occupant injuries posted increased trends with 126,000 injuries in 2011 and 136,000 in 2012 .
3. One’s speculation on the rationales for unfavorable human loss-based trends that have occurred during the periods 2011 to 2012 include any of the following contributory factors: driving under the influence of alcohol, failure to use the necessary restraints, inexperienced drivers (especially teen-aged drivers), and having children as occupants or as pedestrians.
NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts 2012 Data on Occupant Protection
1. The total number of vehicle occupant fatalities which occurred for restrained passengers for 2011 was 9,471 and increased to 9,679 in 2012. Likewise, for unrestrained passengers, the number of fatalities also increased from 10,215 in 2011 to 10,335 in 2012 .
2. Based on Table 2 on passenger vehicle occupants killed by age and gender for 2012, the age with the greatest number of fatalities noted was from the unrestrained passengers with ages ranging from 25 to 34. Concurrently, the male gender is identified to heavily represent the greatest fatalities, also in the unrestrained category, at 7,345 deaths for the period under study. In one’s speculation, the reason why these groups are so heavily represented is their preponderance to the risk factors identified as: tendencies to drive while in the influence of alcohol, failure to use restrains, speeding, and having children as occupants or as pedestrians while driving .
3. The number of fatalities where occupants killed and reported to be under the age of 12 totaled 369 for the restrained fatalities and 219 for the unrestrained fatalities. On the other hand, for the age ranging from 55 and above, the number of restrained fatalities was recorded at 3,854 and 2,084 for the unrestrained fatalities. Restrained fatalities were greater both groups because of the contributory factors to the death which is directly associated with the ages of those identified to be restrained: children and the elder .
4. Seat belt use rates tend to vary from one state to the other because, as noted, “the laws differ from State to State, according to the type and age of the vehicle, occupant seating position, etc.”
5. For a company that operates a fleet operation, the extent of seat belt use in a given geographic area would significantly influence the extent of crash related liability. For example, the greatest number of occupants killed was reported in Texas with 2,224 deaths in 2012 and 94% observed seat belt use rate. As such, the state could enforce more stringent measures for seat belt use to minimize the number of fatalities in the area .
NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts 2012 Data on Large Trucks
1. Based on the fatality data on people killed in crashes involving large trucks, the 2011 figure of 640 was increased to 697 in 2012. Likewise, occupants of other vehicles in crashes involving large trucks exhibited a total of 2,723 deaths in 2011 and increased to 2,843 in 2012. As such, both fatality data exhibited increasing trends from 2011 to 2012 .
2. A major difference between the total number of large truck fatalities and the total number of fatalities for occupant of other vehicles that are involved in crashes with large trucks could stem from the professional stance assumed and expected from drivers of large trucks. They are expected to adhere to strict safety standards that focus on preventing accidents while on the road. On the other hand, drivers of other vehicles are more diverse in demographic profile including those who are young drivers, those under the influence of alcohol, or those who are distracted and come across engaging in vehicular accidents with large trucks .
3. The difference stipulated above on the contributory factors for exhibiting fatality and injury rates for occupants of large trucks vis-à-vis occupants of other vehicles in crashes involving large trucks may significantly impact a motor carrier’s overall legal liability. As observed, most of the liabilities for the preponderance of accidents come from drivers and occupants of other vehicles. As such, large truck drivers are expected to be in control in adherence to safety standards as required of the profession .
4. The occurrence of fatal and injury crashes, as well as vehicle involvement rates, for the years 2007 up to 2012 could be observed to be fluctuating. From significant rates, the trend bottomed to the lowest level in 2009 and regained an upward trend until 2012. One could speculate that the fatality and injury rates are somehow related to the reported vehicle miles travelled. The lesser the miles travelled, the lesser the tendencies for accidents on the road which could lead to injuries or fatalities .
5. Based on Figure 1, the possible reasons for the exhibited trends in large truck fatal crash statistics are as follows:
a. There is a higher prevalence of fatal crashes in rural areas than in urban areas due to the more expansive road with minimum congestion in rural areas. The broader roads with limited traffic congestion make truck drivers higher preponderant to speed up in rural areas .
b. There is a higher prevalence of fatal crashes in weekdays rather than on weekends due to the significant number of vehicles on the road during weekdays .
c. There is a higher prevalence of fatal crashes during the daytime on weekdays than during the nighttime due to the greater number of vehicles plying the road during daytime when people converge on the way to work or to school .
d. There is a higher prevalence of fatal crashes during the nighttime on weekends rather
than in the daytime due to the apparent greater number of people who go out later in the afternoon and rush home at night .
6. The information from Figure 3 could be used to establish a fleet operation’s large truck driver qualifications standard through emphasizing that there is a need to focus and monitor the tendencies for speeding. As such, one of the most relevant requirements is conformity to speed limits to avoid fatalities and injuries involving crashes with large trucks .
NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts 2012 Data on Speeding
1. Based on the data presented in Table 1, the overall level of success that has been experienced with regard to reducing the occurrence of speeding-related fatalities within the United States has been significantly effective since 2003 to 2011 due to the steady decline in speeding related fatalities. However, a partial increase in the number of fatalities was recorded in 2012. Likewise, the percentage of speeding-related fatalities exhibited fluctuating trends manifesting marginal effectiveness
2. Figure 1 presented the percentage of speeding drivers in fatal crashes according to age and gender where highest percentages of 37 percent were reflected by males within the age ranges of 15 to 24 years old. Likewise, the figure indicated that as people age, the speeding-related fatal crashes diminish appropriately .
3. Based on the data from pages 2 to 4, the additional driving related risks compound the potential for fatal crashes to occur in conjunction with speeding: alcohol-impaired drivers who ply the road from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m.; failure to use restraints, and mostly on roadway surface condition with snow, ice or frost, or other exacerbating road surfaces .
NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts 2012 Data on Alcohol Impaired Driving
1. A total of 31% of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities in the United States in 2012 were revealed
2. As disclosed from the data on alcohol impairment based on time of day, it was revealed that the rate of alcohol impairment was estimated to be as much as four (4) times higher at night (35%) as compared to the rate during daytime (9%). The data could be used from a fleet driver scheduling standpoint as enforcing stringent monitoring of drivers assigned during the night, especially with regards to alcohol consumption and impairment .
3. The information from Table 3 identifies drivers from the age range of 25 to 34 and males to have the greatest potential to be involved in alcohol impairment-related fatal crashes in 2012.
4. The graph-based data presented in Figure 3 shows significant levels of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) averaging 0.15 or greater to be manifested in as much as 6,730 or 59% of drivers to be involved in fatal crashes in 2012. The data confirmed that alcohol impaired driving is a relevant risk factor in more than half of the drivers that were involved in fatal crashes. As such, one’s awareness is magnified in terms of observing adherence to avoiding alcohol prior to driving .
National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey
1. The top 10 vehicle movements prior to the critical crash envelope shown in Table 7 are as follows: (1) going straight, (2) negotiating a curve, (3) stopped in traffic lane, (4) decelerating in traffic lane, (5) avoidance maneuver to a previous critical event, (6) changing lanes, (7) turning left, (8) accelerating in traffic lane, (9) passing or overtaking another vehicle, and (10) turning right. Concurrently, the top 10 critical pre-crash events according to Table 8 are as follows: (1) vehicle travelling turning or crossing at intersection, (2) vehicle travelling off the edge of the
road, (3) other vehicle in lane stopped, (4) vehicle travelling over the lane line, (5) travelling in
the same direction, (6) vehicle control loss for travelling too fast, (7) poor road condition, (8) vehicle problem, (9) other vehicle encroachment from crossing street, and (10) other vehicle encroachment from adjacent lane .
2. Using information from 6.6, the most significant critical reason for critical pre-crash event attributed to drivers is recognition error, specifically inadequate surveillance. Likewise, the most significant critical reason attributed to vehicles is tires failed or degraded. Finally, the most significant critical reason attributed to roadway based reasons is slick roads (ice, loose debris, etc.) .
3. A motor carrier can utilize pre-crash event, as well as the driver, vehicle, and roadway-based information to prevent the occurrence or recurrence of fleet vehicle losses through focusing on the preponderant risk factors and reacting according. The possible responses include enhancing awareness to prevent identified vehicle movements and events, as well as the most significant reasons for crashing .
The Hartford’s “Preventability of Motor Vehicle Collisions”
1. The National Safety Council defined preventable collision as “one in which the driver failed to do everything that they reasonably could have done to avoid it” . On the other hand, American Trucking Association’s (ATA) definition of the term was premised on the concept of preventability which emphasizes the professional driver’s expected ability to discern factors that could contribute to hazardous conditions while driving. As such, the disparity in the two definitions stem from assumption of legal culpability of the driver as against exerting all efforts to prevent collisions from happening. As such, the definition provided by the ATA appears to be most reasonable especially with regard to holding fleet drivers accountable for their actions due to their involvement in vehicular collisions since it emphasizes due diligence in capitalizing on their professionalism as drivers to avoid collisions at all possible measures .
2. The perspectives and activities which separate non-proactive motor carriers from proactive companies with regard to analyzing vehicle collision preventability include knowledge on the concept of preventability, defensive driving, as well as legal liability. As such, proactive companies ensure that their professional drivers assume a mature and responsible stance in practicing defensive driving. Likewise, as asserted, through knowledge on the concept of preventability, proactive motor carriers design appropriate strategies that reward professional drivers for practicing defensive driving and preventing collisions from happening .
3. Management plays a crucial role in establishing as well as running an effective crash analysis system. Management should design programs that would enhance awareness of newly hired drivers on the concept of preventability. Likewise, continuous training must be accorded to ensure that all drivers, including professional drivers, are reminded that they are accountable for preventable collisions. Thus, a crash analysis system would enable management to determine risk factors, reasons for critical crash, and the control measures that would address any weaknesses that emerged .
Best Practices Guide For Fleet Safety Program Development
1. The organizational and public-based assets that can be negatively affected as a result of transportation-related accidents are as follows: private or public properties, employees and other stakeholders who could be injured, as well as the image of the organization for perpetuating or sustaining significant fatalities or injuries from transportation-related accidents .
2. The key elements of an effective fleet risk control system are as follows: (a) written policy, (b) program administration, (c) driver selection, authorization, and review, (d) driver training, (e) driver discipline, (f) drug and alcohol testing, (g) emergency equipment, (h) vehicle inspection and maintenance, (i) accident reporting and investigation, and (j) recordkeeping .
The various responsibilities of a fleet risk manager to ensure that an organization adopts these key elements are: (1) ensuring compliance of the program by communicating the key elements; (2) ensuring that the operators possess licenses appropriate for the type of vehicle being operated; (3) adopting effective standards for all operators; (4) maintaining and updating files per vehicle and operator; and (5) ensuring pre and post trip inspections are regularly conducted .
Fleet Safety Program Evaluation Guide
1. It is necessary for an individual to routinely evaluate or audit the extent that such practices are being followed despite the presence of formal fleet risk control policies in place to ensure that these policies are being adhered to. Likewise, it is part of the function of management to control various aspects of organizational performance, including enforcement of policies . Any deviation from policies should be dealt with according to the code of discipline and sanctions defined in the safety program that caters to the organization’s needs.
2. The person who is most likely to perform a fleet evaluation/audit is the risk and safety manager or managers assigned to focus on fleet evaluation and control. As such, the management-based approaches that could be used to promote the successful completion of this process is a performance evaluation program that sets standards or goals, as well as a rewards (and penalties) system that acknowledges (or corrects) adherence to the program .
Maine Municipal Association. (2005). Best Practices Guide for Fleet Safety Program Development. Risk Management Services.
NHTSA. (2008). National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Surve. US Department of Transportation.
NHTSA. (2014). Traffic Safety Facts 2012 Data Alcohol Impaired Driving. US Department of Transportation.
NHTSA. (2014). Traffic Safety Facts 2012 Data Large Trucks. US Department of Transportation.
NHTSA. (2014). Traffic Safety Facts 2012 Data Occupant Protection. US Department of Transportation.
NHTSA. (2014). Traffic Safety Facts 2012 Data Overview. US Department of Transportation.
NHTSA. (2014). Traffic Safety Facts 2012 Data Speeding. US Department of Transportation.
Northland Insurance. (n.d.). Fleet Safety Porgram Evaluation Guide.
The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (2009). Preventability of Motor Vehicle Collisions. Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.