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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Onboard Safety Systems


To determine the crash rate reductions associated with three different types of onboard safety systems (OBSSs) and whether the OBSSs cost-effectively facilitate outreach and deployment in the trucking industry.


A truck may have one or more OBSS(s) to mitigate or avoid a crash. For this study, OBSSs include lane departure warning (LDW) systems, roll stability control (RSC) systems, and forward collision warning (FCW) systems. This study differs from previous studies in its use of fleet-collected data from a broad spectrum of crashes, including crashes not officially reported. Unlike previous studies, this study actually measured real-world crash rates instead of modeling them. Moreover, in contrast to previous studies, crashes in this study were filtered to include only OBSS-related crashes (e.g., a FCW-related crash is a crash that could have been avoided or mitigated by a FCW system).


The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) tasked Virginia Technical Transportation Institute (VTTI) to study the effectiveness of three OBSSs (i.e., FCW, LDW, and RSC) by analyzing crash data from more than 14 truck fleets that traveled more than 13 billion miles and involved 88,112 crashes.


A final report on crash reductions associated with each OBSS and the benefit-cost ratio for each of the three OBSSs.


This project is completed. Period of performance: April 20, 2009–July 19, 2011


FY 2009     $363,765.92     FMCSA Research and Technology
FY 2010     $295,689.93     FMCSA Research and Technology
FY 2011     $5,465.00         FMCSA Research and Technology


Final report was published and can be accessed at


Virginia Technical Transportation Institute