Virginia residents understand that a truck accident can be catastrophic. The impact from a a truck is usually much greater than what victims might experience if they are struck by a smaller vehicle. The large size of trucks, compounded with the speed at which they are moving and the momentum generated, is much higher than a typical two-car collision.

In order to ensure the safety of truck drivers and other motorists, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute conducts regular studies to identify the various reasons for truck and bus accidents to help prevent them. The research is carried out by the institute’s Center for Truck & Bus Safety and focuses on research, development and the evaluation of commercial heavy vehicles. The CTBS is comprised of three distinct groups:

  • Behavioral Analysis and Applications
  • Human Factors and Advanced System Testing
  • Safety and Human Factors

The CTBS simultaneously works on a number of projects under these departments. Their efforts are funded by federal agencies, such as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. One of the new projects that the CTBS is working on includes a study to determine whether age has an effect on the driving ability of commercial truck drivers. Another research project focuses on understanding the relationship between mobile phone usage and visual distraction while driving a truck.

Similarly, there are a number of ongoing and completed projects that the CTBS is involved in. For example, one of the ongoing projects is aiming to develop guidelines that can help implement and monitor a fatigue management program. Fatigue is one of the major causes for truck accidents and, therefore, this FMCSA project is sure to benefit both truck drivers as well as those people who may have been injured in a truck accident due to truck driver fatigue.

Source: VTTI.VT.edu, “Truck and Bus Safety,” accessed on Sept. 25, 2014