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Accid Anal Prev. 1989 Oct;21(5):469-81.

Defective equipment and tractor-trailer crash involvement.

Author information

1
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Arlington, VA 22201.

Abstract

The role of defective equipment in large truck crashes on interstate highways in Washington State was investigated using a case-control study design. For each large truck involved in a crash, three trucks were randomly selected from the traffic stream at the same time and place as the crash, but one week later both crash and comparison trucks were inspected by Commercial Vehicle Enforcement officers of the Washington State Patrol. The effects of truck equipment condition, truck operating characteristics (carrier type, carrier operation, and truck load), and driver characteristics (driver age, hours of driving) on crash involvement were analyzed by comparing their relative frequency among crash-involved and comparison sample tractor-trailers. A logistic regression model was used to estimate the adjusted odds ratio for each factor. Overall, 77% of tractor-trailers in crashes and 66% of those not involved in crashes had defective equipment warranting a citation. Forty-one percent in crashes had defective equipment warranting taking the truck out of service, and 31% not in crashes had these defects. Brake defects were the most common type and were found in 56% of tractor-trailers in crashes; steering equipment defects were found in 21%. The relative risk of crash involvement for trucks with brake defects was about one and one-half times that for trucks without brake defects. For trucks with steering defects, the relative risk of crash involvement was at least twice that for trucks with steering defects, the relative risk of crash involvement was at least twice that for trucks without defects, and the risk increased substantially for trucks with out-of-service steering defects.

PMID:
2619856
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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