Research Project

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Effectiveness of Fostering Safety Culture in Motor Carriers


To demonstrate whether early, proactive training of new entrant motor carriers makes a significant difference in their safety performance, including crash rate.


TRB Synthesis Report 14 reported that motor carriers with a safety culture have fewer crashes and better safety performance. This study is applied to new entrant motor carriers because 99 percent operate less than 15 power units and are too small to employ a safety professional. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) also has a new entrant program that touches 100 percent of them.

Building on lessons learned from a simple new entrant FMCSA training initiative in 2005–06, an enhanced curriculum and partnering procedures were applied during years 2010—12.


This project demonstrates the effectiveness of early, proactive training in fostering new entrant adoption of a safety culture. Measures of effectiveness include reduced number of safety audit failures, reduction in roadside violations and crashes, and greater driver retention.


This will provide important inputs to support a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) that modified the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act (MCSIA) Section 210(b) requirement to read as follows:  ". . . the Secretary shall establish a proficiency examination for applicant motor carriers as well as other requirements to ensure such applicants understand applicable…regulations before being granted operating authority."


December 2009: Peer review committee meeting.
June 2011: Onsite review of project.
March 2013: Completed training.
December 2013: Final analysis of results.
March 2014: Final report and presentation on findings.


FY 2009: $500,000 - FMCSA Research and Technology
FY 2010: $175,000 - FMCSA Research and Technology


Training is completed. Detailed analysis of safety performance results from the 2005-06 training is in final review for publication. Supporting papers are in review.

Information Systems Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) approved for acquiring commercial driver's license driver performance data from the Commercial Driver's License Information System for use in analysis of safety performance.


The SAGE Corporation

Updated: Tuesday, December 16, 2014