About the research
In 2010, 16.5 percent of all fatal vehicle crashes in Iowa involved large trucks compared to the national average of 7.8 percent. Only about 16 percent of these fatalities involved the occupants of the heavy vehicles, meaning that a majority of the fatalities in fatal crashes involve non-heavy truck occupants. These statistics demonstrate the severe nature of heavy truck crashes and underscore the serious impact that these crashes can have on the traveling public. These statistics also indicate Iowa may have a disproportionately higher safety risk compared to the nation with respect to heavy truck safety.
Several national studies, and a few statewide studies have investigated large truck crashes; however, no rigorous analysis of heavy truck crashes has been conducted for Iowa. The objective of this study was to investigate and identify the causes, locations, and other factors related to heavy truck crashes in Iowa with the goal of reducing crashes and promoting safety. To achieve this objective, this study used the most current statewide data of heavy truck crashes in Iowa.
This study also attempted to assess crash experience with respect to length of commercial driver’s license (CDL) licensure using the most recent five years of CDL data linked to the before mentioned crash data. In addition, this study used inspection and citation data from the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) Motor Vehicle Division and Iowa State Patrol to investigate the relationship between enforcement activities and crash experience.