Research Project

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Survey of Motorcoach Company Practices: Driver Recruitment, Training, and Compensation; Vehicle Selection and Maintenance; and Operational Considerations

Goal:

To collect information on the methods of compensation for motorcoach drivers and drivers’ associated safety performance. The primary goal of the study is to determine if there is a relationship between payment methods and safe driving performance. In addition, the study may be able to identify the method of compensation that has the lowest crash rate and fewer unsafe driver behaviors, leading to fewer fatalities and injuries.

Background:

There are many segments of the bus industry that employ a variety of methods of compensation for their drivers.

Summary:

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), in collaboration with other interested organizations, will work to assess the safety implications of different methods and amounts of compensation for motorcoach drivers. The study will collect feedback from stakeholders to seek information on the possible safety advantages and disadvantages of different compensation packages. The survey instrument will be designed using statistically-sound scientific techniques. This survey is intended to be a large-scale data collection effort and will require approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The data will be used to characterize industry practices with respect to driver compensation and to determine the effect on safety. Motorcoach drivers working for charter, tour, regular route, or commuter express operations will be the focus of the study. These data will be used to demonstrate possible relationships of variables and to determine if the variables may contribute to unintended safety consequences, such as driver and vehicle out-of-service rates and crash rates.

Outcomes:

An assessment of the safety implications of different methods and amounts of compensation for motorcoach drivers using a statistically sound scientific survey instrument. The study may be able to identify the method of compensation that has the lowest crash rate and fewer unsafe driver behaviors, leading to fewer fatalities and injuries.

Milestones:

October 2015: Kick-off meeting
May 2016: Industry outreach
July 2016: Study design review

Funding:

FY 2015: $498,930

Current Status:

Survey questions are being developed for the OMB/ICR process. Literature review in progress. Outreach efforts began in May.

Project Manager:

For more information, contact Martin Walker of the Research Division at (202) 385-2387 or martin.r.walker@dot.gov.

Contractor:

MaineWay Services
Updated: Thursday, January 5, 2017
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