A newly released study by a leading transportation research group shows that women truck drivers are safer than their male counterparts in every statistically significant safety behavior, and men were 20% more likely to be involved in a crash than women.

This and other findings by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) come as the independent affiliate of the American Trucking Associations has updated its Crash Predictor Model, which statistically quantifies the likelihood of future crash involvement based on specific truck driving behaviors such as prior crashes, violations and convictions.

ATRI’s analysis draws on data from over 435,000 U.S. truck drivers over a two-year time frame. The study identified nearly a dozen behaviors that raise a driver’s risk of being involved in a future truck crash by more than 50%.

First released in 2005 and again in 2011, the latest ATRI crash predictor model includes analyses on the impact of age and gender on crash probability. And to better understand the bottom line impacts of preventing crashes, the latest report includes industry average crash costs across six distinct crash types and severity.

The top two behaviors for predicting future crash involvement, each with more than 100% increased likelihood of a future crash, are a reckless driving violation and a failure to yield right of way violation.

The data also showed that prior crash involvement continues to have a statistically significant relationship to future crash involvement, with a 74% increase of the likelihood of being in a future crash.

Several behaviors have emerged across all three ATRI Crash Predictor Models as statistically significant predictors of future crash involvement, including: convictions for improper lane/location; reckless/careless/inattentive/negligent driving, and improper or erratic lane change.

ATRI also provides a list of “top tier” states that have proven track records of maximizing their enforcement resources while minimizing their share of the nation’s truck crashes. Indiana tops that list, followed by New Mexico, Washington, California and Maryland.

“Crash data is a key determinant of a carrier’s CSA score,” said Karen Rasmussen, CEO of HELP Inc., the provider of PrePass and chair of ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee (RAC). “This study helps carriers better identify which drivers exhibit behaviors that raise a driver’s crash risk and take steps to correct those behaviors, resulting in improved CSA scores and reduced crashes,” Rasmussen said.

The ATRI RAC is comprised of government officials, independent scientists, labor union members, academics and trucking company executives and suppliers who are selected and appointed by the ATRI Board of Directors and charged with recommending an annual research agenda for ATRI.

A copy of the Crash Predictor report is available from ATRI at TruckingResearch.org.

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