On March 10, 2021, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) held its annual public session called the FMCSA Analysis, Research & Technology Forum, or ART Forum for short.  It’s normally a live, in-person event in Washington, DC, but this year it was a 4-hour virtual session.  This forum is, in STC’s view, one of the best opportunities for the industry and other stakeholders to learn about FMCSA’s latest findings from its safety data analysis efforts, and new research projects planned or underway.  It’s usually a well-executed FMCSA event, and this year was no different.  Here are some shared analysis-related nuggets from this year:

  • “Speeding of any kind” continues to be at the top of the truck driver factors list from truck-involved fatal crash data;
  • Large trucks continue to be significantly overrepresented in fatal highway work zone crashes;
  • Remote compliance reviews, begun in earnest in 2019 prior to the pandemic, do not hamper FMCSA’s ability to find and document violations.  The percentage of reviews with violations is almost the same in off-site and on-site reviews; and,
  • False logs were far and away the #1 violation cited during roadside inspections in CY 2020 (even after full ELD implementation).

Much more was shared and learned.  We also learned from what was not communicated by FMCSA.  For example, there was no mention of:

  • The status of FMCSA’s CSA Item Response Theory (IRT) analysis & findings**;
  • Any new or ongoing ELD mandate-related safety effectiveness research or analysis; and,
  • Any new research or anticipated program changes to address the truck crash problem in work zones.

Here are a few of STC’s takeaways from what was not communicated: (1) don’t expect CSA changes any time soon; (2) there is no ongoing or planned research effort to determine how the ELD mandate may be impacting crash and other safety outcomes; and (3) there does not appear to be new programs or countermeasures in the pipeline to address the truck-involved work zone crash problem.

If you participated in this virtual forum, we’d love to hear your takeaways.  Feel free to share them at sgarney@scopelitisconsulting.com.

** Note:  there was a question posed by a virtual audience member and briefly answered with limited info.