NSC Labor Division news Research/studies Transportation

It’s not just semi-truck drivers who need safety training, researchers say


Photo: Nerthuz/iStockphoto

Lexington, KY — Drivers of utility vans, tow trucks and other light and medium-weight trucks could use safety training, according to a team from the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center. 

The researchers analyzed incident and injury data from state workers’ compensation first report of injury claims, as well as injury narratives from drivers.

They found that drivers of light trucks (those weighing 10,000 pounds or less) and medium-weight trucks (10,000 to 26,000 pounds) had higher FROI rates than drivers of trucks weighing more than 26,000 pounds.

Unlike drivers of heavy trucks, drivers of light and medium-weight trucks aren’t required to complete federally mandated training. They also tend to be younger. Younger drivers of light and medium-weight trucks had higher FROI rates compared with counterparts who operate heavy trucks.

Crashes involving light/medium-weight trucks most commonly involved being rear-ended, running red lights and turning in front of other vehicles.

“Because of this, the researchers recommend that employers of light and medium drivers provide targeted trainings to drivers with previous crashes that address distracted driving and emphasize rear-end crash prevention,” a KIPRC press release states.

Terry Bunn, principal investigator and director of KIPRC, suggests that “national regulations can be developed and implemented” for the growing number of drivers of light and medium-weight trucks.

The study was published online in the National Safety Council’s Journal of Safety Research.

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