This post is a duplicate of one I posted to:
The LTCCS was a wonderful study when it was done. The problem is, it was done before the current HOS regulations went into effect in 2004. As a million+ safe OTR mile driver, I can tell you from personal experience that the new HOS regulations have made a major improvement in the fatigue levels of truck drivers.
Reasonably well executed studies such as the LTCCS are a wonderful tool to help aim regulatory and enforcements at problem areas. There are a few problems with studies. For example, while fatigue is a factor often cited in crashes, to the best of my knowledge, nobody has ever asked *why* the driver was fatigued. Overly tight delivery schedule? A guy with a loud reefer unit parked next to him in the truckstop while he was trying to sleep? All to often, we seem to just get the “because” and not the “why” — which is the difference between treating a symptoms or finding cures.
Then, there’s the old “lies, damn lies, and statistics”. Statistics can be spun in lots of different ways; i.e. “The death rate among non-smokers is 100%”. The statistics from such studies need to be clear, straightforward, and absolutely unambiguous.
All too often, the designers of these studies are folks who’ve spent their entire careers sitting in offices — not out on the highways. The key to getting maximum effectiveness from them is to ask the right questions. Without input from the troops in the trenches, this is unlikely to happen. There’s an enormous wealth of untapped information about truck safety going down the road in the heads of drivers — and nobody seems interested in extracting it.