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United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

The Impact of Vehicle Maintenance on Safety


Project Goal:

The goals of this study are to: (1) understand the impact of maintenance on safety-based crashes; (2) develop an operational definition of systematic maintenance; (3) evaluate the effect of current regulations on preventative maintenance intervals, preventative inspections by trained mechanics, and inspection facilities; (4) determine the maintenance standards of best performers; and (5) determine the range and role of annual State inspection programs.



Vehicle maintenance (e.g., brakes, lights, other mechanical defects, and load securement) is one of the seven Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs) for motor carrier safety measurement. In January 2014, FMCSA published the Carrier Safety Measurement System (CSMS) Effectiveness Test by BASICs Study. This published study showed that motor carriers targeted for interventions due to vehicle maintenance have a 65 percent greater future crash rate than the national average.



The goal of the survey is to gather information from the best truck and bus carriers to identify the maintenance practices that are being used in the industry.





October 2016: Kick-off meeting (X)



November 2016: Draft work plan to be peer-reviewed (X)



February 2017: Final work plan (peer-reviewed) (X)



April 2017: Literature review completed (X)



September 2017: Preliminary analysis of data from CSMS and Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS) data (X)



February 2020: Submit information collection request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).



December 2018: Close 30-day Federal Register Notice (X)



September 2021: Develop public-use data set



August 2021: Final report and final briefing due (X)





Total Funding: $ 335,627.00



Virginia Tech Transportation Institute

Last updated: Sunday, January 31, 2021