Report: Driver Inattention, Distraction Is Top Cause of Commercial Vehicle Crashes
A recent study of commercial motor vehicle crashes in New Hampshire found that driver inattention or distraction, unsafe speeds, and failure to yield were the top three causes of crashes. Researchers examined the New Hampshire State Police commercial crash dataset for 2015–2017. The most prevalent cause of these crashes varied by road and weather conditions. On dry roads with no adverse weather, driver inattention or distraction was the most prevalent cause of crashes. For poor road and weather conditions, the most prevalent crash cause was unsafe speed.  The authors of the study, which was released by the New Hampshire Occupational Health Surveillance Program, argue that the safety of workers who drive on the job is a responsibility shared by several stakeholders, including employers, workers, policymakers, vehicle manufacturers, and researchers. Employers in particular are able to leverage their relationships with employees to help reduce work-related crashes and injuries. The report outlines steps that employers can take to help prevent worker injuries and deaths from traffic-related crashes. Employers should establish schedules that allow drivers enough time to obey speed limits and set and enforce mandatory seatbelt-use policies for both drivers and passengers. Companies’ driver safety programs should also address factors that contribute to crashes, including drowsy and distracted driving. The full report is available as a PDF from the University of New Hampshire website.