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Journal Article

Mitigating Heavy Truck Rear-End Crashes with the use of Rear-Lighting Countermeasures

In 2006, there were approximately 23,500 rear-end crashes involving heavy trucks (i.e., gross vehicle weight greater than 4,536 kg). The Enhanced Rear Signaling (ERS) for Heavy Trucks project was developed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to investigate methods to reduce or mitigate those crashes where a heavy truck has been struck from behind by another vehicle. Visual warnings have been shown to be effective, assuming the following driver is looking directly at the warning display or has his/her eyes drawn to it. A visual warning can be placed where it is needed and it can be designed so that its meaning is nearly unambiguous. FMCSA contracted with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) to investigate potential benefit of additional rear warning-light configurations as rear-end crash countermeasures for heavy trucks.
Journal Article

Field Demonstration of Heavy Vehicle Camera/Video Imaging Systems

To help drivers monitor the road and to reduce blind spots, Camera/Video Imaging Systems (C/VISs) display live video from cameras mounted on the truck's exterior to drivers using displays inside the truck cabin. This study investigated drivers' performance with C/VISs in a real-world trucking operation. Twelve commercial drivers' performance with and without a C/VIS was continuously recorded while they each drove for four months. Half of the drivers used a commercially available C/VIS that had a side-view camera on each fender. The other drivers used an advanced C/VIS (A-C/VIS) that had side-view cameras, a rear-view camera, and night-vision capabilities. This paper presents the study's final results and expands on the preliminary results that were previously reported. Detailed analyses of drivers' involvement in Safety-Critical Events (SCEs), their lane change performance, and their opinions of the C/VISs are presented.