Research Project

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Investigation of Driver Training Curricula Effectiveness


To assess the effectiveness of commercial driver’s license (CDL) entry-level driver training in improving driver safety performance.


Earlier research indicated CDL entry-level driver training (ELDT) was not adequate. About 75 percent of the fleets surveyed in the 2001 I-95 Corridor Coalition Coordinated Safety Management study require new drivers to train with a`n experienced driver before soloing. This widespread application of “driver finishing” programs provides further evidence of the need for greater CDL ELDT. These carrier finishing programs provide newly-licensed CDL drivers with additional training and/or supervised driving time to ensure a minimum operational skill level is met, even though the drivers already hold valid CDLs. In recent years, synthesis studies under the Transportation Research Board’s Commercial Truck and Bus Synthesis Program examined the effectiveness of commercial vehicle driver training. The variance in safety performance was not great enough for any of these studies to find a meaningful relationship between the value of formal ELDT and the safety performance of those drivers.


This study is designed to augment a review of the driver training effectiveness literature. It will collect data from carrier fleets and commercial driver training programs to identify and evaluate the safety outcomes of various entry-level driver training regimens. The project will also seek out qualitative information on how several fleets have experienced potentially different driver safety results from different applied curricula.


This research supports the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) mandated entry-level driver rulemaking that is currently underway.


November 2012    Kick-off meeting and review of draft work plan
December 2012    Finalize project work plan
March 2013           Augmented literature review
November 2013    Carrier qualitative information
December 2014    Insights from insurance provider
February 2015      Analysis of CDL driver performance data
July 2014              Submission and peer review of draft final report
March 2015:          Draft final report presentation
April 2015:            Final Section 508 compliant report




Literature review completed. Working with the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) and OBXtec to implement extraction of safety performance data from the Commercial Driver’s License Information System (CDLIS).


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Updated: Thursday, January 8, 2015
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