National Academies Press: OpenBook

Role of Human Factors in Preventing Cargo Tank Truck Rollovers (2012)

Chapter: Chapter 7 - Conclusions and Recommendations

« Previous: Chapter 6 - Case Studies
Page 54
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 7 - Conclusions and Recommendations." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Role of Human Factors in Preventing Cargo Tank Truck Rollovers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22741.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 7 - Conclusions and Recommendations." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Role of Human Factors in Preventing Cargo Tank Truck Rollovers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22741.
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Page 55
Page 56
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 7 - Conclusions and Recommendations." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Role of Human Factors in Preventing Cargo Tank Truck Rollovers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22741.
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Page 56

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54 The objectives of this research project are to identify the root driver-related factors that contribute to cargo tank truck rollovers and to determine the best safety, management, and communication practices that can be employed by carriers to eliminate or minimize driver errors. 7.1 Root Driver-Related Factors Authoritative sources of information such as the MCMIS, HMIRS, and TIFA crash databases do not yield enough infor- mation to identify the root factors absolutely and conclusively. Fortunately, the separate analyses of TIFA and police accident reports (PARs) conducted by the research team did yield cor- relations in potential driver-related root factors. Driver-related causes are leading factors in cargo tank truck rollovers. These causes lead to the unsafe acts that directly lead to rollovers. The unsafe acts that are most frequently identified through the PAR analysis are • Driving too fast for conditions, • Illegal maneuver or improper turning, • Inadequate evasive action, and • Poor directional control. The most significant areas of potential driver-related contrib- uting factors that lead to these unsafe acts include • Information gathering, • Driver state, • Physiological condition, • Obesity and health, • Alcohol or drug involvement, and • Vehicle control. A number of these driver-related factors relate to, or con- tribute to, the others. Certainly any of the first five areas can result in poor vehicle control, as well as alcohol or drug involvement being considered a characteristic of driver state. Driver state, in turn, can be a factor in, but not the sole causal factor of, inadequate information gathering. Inadequate information gathering is identified as the chief contributing factor, accounting for 72% of identified contributing factors. Information gathering includes such char- acteristics as distraction, poor situational awareness, failure to recognize a hazard, and inadequate visual surveillance— in short, instances of not paying attention. Driver state accounts for 19% of identified contributing factors and includes such characteristics as impairment (e.g., alcohol, drugs, or medi- cations), aggressive behavior, drowsiness, being asleep, or having limited capacity—in short, not being fit for duty or in the proper state of mind at the time of the crash. The analysis of the TIFA data showed that driver-related factors such as alcohol and drug involvement, obesity, and health are far more prevalent in single-vehicle crashes than in multiple-vehicle crashes. Although TIFA, MCMIS, and HMIRS were of some use to the project, these databases do not point to definitive root causes. This was a key conclusion of HMCRP Report 1: Hazardous Materials Transportation Incident Data for Root Cause Analysis, and the conclusion was validated in this research project. The most accurate method for determining driver-related root causes would require the type of detailed analysis performed by insurance companies and carriers fol- lowing major crashes or the effort that was conducted for the Large Truck Crash Causation Study, or LTCCS (FMCSA, 2006). Cargo tank truck operators (i.e., carrier or trucking company officials) do influence how drivers behave and do influence the drivers’ state of mind at the time they are faced with a threaten- ing situation. For each of the contributing factors identified, operators can exert influence through programs and practices they put in place. These include • Fitness-for-duty, • Health awareness, • Safety culture, C h a p t e r 7 Conclusions and Recommendations

55 • Hiring, • Training, • Scheduling and dispatch, and • Operations. While safety culture is the key ingredient (in the absence of which any of the other influencers can have only a modest impact, at best), no one practice or program is sufficient on its own to effectively influence driver behavior and reduce rollovers. 7.2 Best Safety Practices for Drivers and Carriers The second objective for this research was to determine best safety, management, and communication practices that can be used to minimize or eliminate driver errors in cargo tank truck operations. Common practices emerged from the extensive interviews with cargo tank carriers and with other industries. An interested manager should read the model safety program in Section 6.1.4 and see if any of its ideas can be implemented as a first step. Appendices D through J of this report are resources to help carriers implement the best safety, management, and com- munication practices. Appendices are not included herein, but are published online at www.TRB.org by searching for HMCRP Report 7. Appendices D through J are as follows: • Appendix D: Case Study 1—Outline of an Overall Safety Program. Section 6.1.4 is an extended discussion of an over- all safety program. This appendix presents similar material in checklist form. • Appendix E: Case Study 1—Investigation Report for a Ficti- tious Rollover. The purpose of an investigation is to avoid a repeat. Finding all the dominoes that led to the problem and fixing them can be a great benefit. This example shows what kinds of questions might be asked. Guidelines for conducting the investigation are in Section 6.1.5. • Appendix F: Case Study 2—Sample Driver Check Ride Eval- uation Form. • Appendix G: Case Study 2—Sample Ride-Along Driver Observation Form. The safety manager can print one of these checklists and bring it on the next ride. The first form is shorter and lists a number of skills. The second, longer form lists actions to be observed. • Appendix H: Case Study 2—Performance Dashboard Report- ing. A busy terminal manager can review the performance dashboards to see how industry leading carriers measure and report performance. • Appendix I: Case Study 2—Questions to Ask in Selection of In-cab Camera Systems. Many carriers have found in-cab cameras to be a valuable tool for coaching drivers and defending lawsuits. Here are questions to ask in selecting a system. • Appendix J: Case Study 3—Fatigue Management Program Guideline and Scoring Worksheet. This worksheet is patterned after one from a Transport Canada (2011) study on rail safety. It lists program components and a basis for measuring progress toward instituting a mature fatigue management program. The selection, implementation, and assimilation of a behavior-based safety program can be a long and evolving process. An objective comparison of the existing operation and incident record can shed light on where to focus initial efforts. Certain practices can be adopted or enhanced in short order. Many of the identified good practices can be initiated in parallel or in phases. Improvement will not come overnight. Whether an organization is large or small, the inertia of the organization will tend to resist sudden changes. All contributors agree that to be successful, the safety culture must be an umbrella over all operational activities and that the safety program must be visible at all levels of the organization and conducted with integrity. While the driver is typically the only occupant in the cab, the safe operation of the fleet is a collaborative effort of the entire organization, as well as the driver’s family. The VicRoads Heavy Vehicle Rollover Prevention Program is a comprehensive package. Elements of it can be implemented in the cargo tank truck industry right away. The videos and other program materials are available for download, and a wooden model for shared use is in North America. With effort, the program can be made more relevant and more specific to North American cargo tank vehicles and practices. Tank carriers and others in the industry should continue to work together to develop new ways to present the safety message to maintain the attention of drivers through their entire career. Any carrier of more than two people can have managers rid- ing with drivers to watch daily habits and practices. A carrier of any size can develop an atmosphere of trust and the shared goal of everyone’s safety. Larger carriers with significant corporate resources can implement an automated electronic program to track the statistics of drivers, but even a small carrier can follow the example of plotting CSA scores with a pencil and paper. All carriers should understand the CSA program and how it can be used to improve performance. FMCSA’s website provides use- ful information on CSA and the Safety Measurement System (SMS). Useful links include the following: • CSA homepage: http://csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/default.aspx, • Carrier SMS results: http://ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/sms/, • Frequently asked questions: http://csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/ FAQs.aspx, and • Motor Carrier Tool Kit: http://csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/resources. aspx.

56 FMCSA also provides a Pre-Employment Screening Pro- gram. It is available to potential employers for pre-screening with the written consent of the driver. The program is volun- tary and not part of CSA. Information is not available to the carrier for currently employed drivers. Additional information can be found at www.psp.fmcsa.dot.gov/pages/FAQ.aspx. Health and wellness programs and education, fatigue man- agement programs, and scheduling and dispatch practices that proactively focus on safety are key components of successful fitness-for-duty processes. Carriers who were interviewed see fitness for duty as a team effort involving the company, the driver, and the driver’s family. This report aims to provide tools that operators can implement right away, both to see near-term results and to continue the evolving safety process over the long term. Man- agement teams can review the lessons learned and can adopt or modify ideas on components of their safety program and culture, including how to incorporate driver families onto the safety team. 7.3 Recommendations for Future Work In the near future, the industry will have access to a tremen- dous amount of data on driver practices that can be correlated with rollover rate. As FMCSA rolls out CSA, its behavior analysis and safety improvement categories (BASIC) mea- sures will be tracked. Larger carriers have developed or are developing extensive databases of on-road events that, over time, can be correlated with rates of rollovers and other inci- dents. As initial experience is gained, the practices of early adopters can be disseminated as examples for other carriers. Complete information for a thorough root-cause analysis is best obtained by thorough investigation. It remains cost- prohibitive to conduct such analysis under the public sector purview for each rollover. Carriers and insurance companies hold the most complete set of information for this analysis, but business reasons prohibit their information being released into the public domain. A process that would allow for root causes at an aggregate level to be obtained, that would allow for valuable lessons to be shared to improve safety across the industry, and that would provide legal protection and ensure confidentiality to those providing the data is likely the most effective solution to root-cause identification of driver-related factors in cargo tank truck rollovers. A detailed analysis of rollover incidents, similar to the LTCCS (FMCSA, 2006) would add valuable information that can benefit the cargo tank truck industry in its efforts to reduce rollovers. This project’s root-cause analysis did show that it might be worthwhile to study one subset of cargo tank rollover crashes—those involving single vehicles. Several of the driver factors associated with these crashes are over-represented when compared with multiple-vehicle crashes. All motor carriers interviewed were pleased with their behav- ior management practices, including the onboard technology systems when applicable. There was some concern, however, with the number of products that it takes to measure all metrics of interest, and carriers wished that more functions could be integrated into a single system. A carrier that wants to count hard braking incidents, record in-cab video, establish geo- fencing, and study electronic stability interventions may be deal- ing with three vendors and three separate cell communications systems. Often, these systems may not be integrated. Either the marketplace, a concerted industry-wide effort, or both even- tually will lead to more-integrated and easy-to-use products. Organizations such as National Tank Truck Carriers and ATA provide vehicles to share best practices and educate the industry. FMCSA has also made strong contributions to improve safety through education. A VicRoads program can be an effective supplement to existing training programs and videos available to the industry. This would best be facilitated by a not-for-profit or industry association.

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TRB’s Hazardous Materials Cooperative Research Program (HMCRP) Report 7: Role of Human Factors in Preventing Cargo Tank Truck Rollovers analyzes the causes of the major driver factors contributing to cargo tank truck rollovers and offers safety, management, and communication practices that can be used to help potentially minimize or eliminate driver errors in cargo tank truck operations.

The report focuses on three areas of practice--rollover-specific driver training and safety programs, the use of behavior management techniques, and the use of fitness-for-duty management practices--that could have long-lasting benefits for motor carriers of all sizes across the tank truck industry.

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