In a letter to the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance urged Congress to fund a new commercial vehicle crash causation study to be conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
CVSA strongly supported the appropriation of funds for a new study in 2020 since the last one was conducted from 2001-2003. The requested funding would have to be included in the 2020 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and related agencies appropriations bill.
With nearly 20 years between studies, the group said, changes to technology, drug usage and passenger and commercial vehicle safety features have “drastically altered” highway safety and, potentially, the root causes of commercial vehicle crashes. For this reason, the group is asking for a new study to reexamine commercial vehicle crash causes.
Such a study would be used to inform commercial vehicle safety enforcement programs and identify current trends and problem areas. That data could be used to craft enforcement and education initiatives to target specific safety problems.
“Understanding root causes of commercial motor vehicle crashes is crucial to the development of effective safety programs,” wrote CVSA Executive Director Collin Mooney on behalf of the organization. “A crash causation study identifying root factors contributing to crashes, not just the incident that caused the crash, is necessary to improve safety.”
The letter also stated that industry stakeholders such as CVSA would also be able to use the crash causation study to be better equipped to structure safety awareness, education and enforcement campaigns to target the causes of crashes.
“The alliance works to closely monitor, evaluate and identify potentially unsafe transportation processes and procedures as well as to help facilitate and implement best practices for enhancing safety on our highways,” wrote Mooney. “Commercial motor vehicle safety continues to be a challenge and we need the involvement of all affected parties to help us better understand these issues and put into place practical solutions.”