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In January 2020, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration stated that it would be conducting a Large Truck Crash Causation Study: the first one since 2003. At the same time, the FMCSA issued a request for information notice regarding how best to advance with the study. West Virginia residents should know that this includes questions of structure and methodology.

On both counts, according to the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, the previous study was deficient. In a formal comment submitted in March, the OOIDA stated that the FMCSA should change the name of its study to the Large Truck Crash Contributing Factors Study. The reason is that the previous study focused not on the causes of truck crashes but rather on critical pre-collision events.

The OOIDA encourages the FMCSA to also precisely state its research objectives, especially in relation to today’s policy issues and to various hypotheses about contributing factors. The samples used in the study should be nationally representative and take into account the kind of weather and road conditions that truckers face.

The OOIDA also recommends that a panel of academics review the progress of the study from its planning stage onward. That way, the FMCSA will know clearly if the data it has collected and its analysis methods will meet the stated objectives.

It’s clear that long hours and pressing deadlines can contribute to many truck accidents. Still, truckers are responsible for their actions. The victim of a commercial truck crash may be left dealing with catastrophic injuries. By filing a claim against the applicable transportation company, they may be reimbursed for their medical expenses and other legitimate losses. A lawyer could help by evaluating the case.