Heavy Trucking

ATRI Report Suggest Heavy Trucking Crashes the Lowest

American Transport Research Institute (ATRI), the research wing of the American Trucking Association is a body that conducts transport research. In a recent research report on safety trends, they came out with significant findings on heavy trucking accidents. The report is based on the evaluation of decade long crash records of heavy and medium trucks. Their evaluation based on the crash rate confirmed that medium trucks perform worse than heavy trucks.

Scope of the report

The report is significant in context of the valuable data on crash records, the findings of which can make heavy trucking and medium trucking safer if recommendations are implemented. The ATRI research made use of what is known as the index of “crash rate”. The index was used to isolate variables like weather, the location of crash, and the type of vehicle to determine the factors that impacted crash trends. According to the report, the truck size was a significant factor that influenced crash trends. In other words, the size of the vehicle was associated with safety. Heavy duty trucks were found safer than medium trucks. Also, according to the findings of the report intrastate and interstate carriers showed disparities in crash trends.

The report is promising enough to understand the factors that influence heavy trucking and medium trucking crashes, the relative crash rates experienced by trucks according to their sizes, and the measures that can be put in place to avoid crashes.


On the findings of the report, Bill Graves, ATA CEO and President was of the opinion that heavy trucks fleet were safer, while blending the crash statistics for medium and heavy trucks could unfairly lower the safety gains made by heavy trucking in recent years. Additionally, there are no single size solutions in truck safety, according to Bill Graves.

The safety analysis based on the data provided by the research will go a long way in mitigating crashes. The report highlights opportunities based on the size of trucks, to improve safety and reduce crashes.

Transport America COO, Keith Klein is of the opinion that the industry needs to enhance their safety strategies across the segments so as to reduce crash rates. The report in his opinion will help the industry formulate custom safety solutions. It is evident from the report findings that heavy trucking is already improving their crash trend records, while more focus is needed to improve the same with the medium trucking.

Studies for future

The report has proved to be quite useful with their findings, so the ATRI is looking into the possibilities of expanding the research. The future studies that ATRI is planning will most likely investigate the critical factors leading to crashes and how different truck sizes, heavy trucking or medium trucking, are influenced by them. The goal of future research is to encourage safety improvements uniformly across all trucks types and sizes.

Future studies on crash trends will help to further narrow down the result. This is possible with focused approach on not just the type and size of the truck, but also on a number of factors including the experience of the drivers and their certification that makes the difference in the trend. Another area that will be of interest for future research will be the differences in the trends evident in intra and inter state carrier

The latest ATRI report mentions that heavy trucking crashes are lesser as compared to medium trucking. This has motivated the ATRI to undertake further research with an expanded scope.



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