Addressing human factors in the motor carrier industry in Canada

Thiffault, P.
Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators

This report contains a comprehensive, in-depth assessment of research regarding human factors associated with commercial vehicle crashes (for drivers of both light and heavy vehicles) and it also explored the most efficient interventions to address these issues. This 3-phase study was undertaken by a task force in 2008 in relation to Road Safety Vision 2010, Canada’s former national road safety plan.

The first phase of this study involved an extensive literature review combined with an analysis of a subset of commercial vehicle crash data drawn from the Canadian National Collision Database (NCDB) between 2003 and 2007. Results from these sources showed that leading factors in CMV crashes were due to driver recognition and decision errors as opposed to performance errors or the use of alcohol and drugs. This phase also explored factors and processes that can influence driver errors, as well as strategies to change behaviour.

In the second phase, an investigation of programs and regulations used by Federal and Provincial agencies to address commercial vehicle crashes, including voluntary initiatives by the motor carrier industry, was undertaken. A survey was conducted of 56 motor carriers, 6 industry associations, as well as all Canadian provincial governments to determine which interventions had been implemented to target recognition, decision, performance and non-performance errors in the country.

The third phase of this study involved formulating a strategy to respond to human factor issues that contribute to the involvement of light and heavy vehicle drivers in commercial vehicle crashes. Findings from Phase 1 and Phase 2 were synthesized to formulate a gap analysis that could guide activities. The report contains a set of 44 action items to address fatigue, distraction and risky driving that are presented based on scientific evidence, and which provide a starting point for discussion among legislators and stakeholders. Sixteen action items were proposed to address fatigue, seventeen to address distracted driving, and eleven to address decision errors.

Thiffault, P. (2011). Addressing human factors in the motor carrier industry in Canada. Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA).