Engineering and Technology Measures to Improve Large Truck Safety: State of the Practice in Virginia

Report No: 03-TAR13

Published in 2003

About the report:

In response to a request by Frank S. Wolf and Jo Ann Davis of the U.S. House of Representatives, Governor Mark Warner formed a Special Task Force on Truck Safety in the fall of 2002. The objective of the task force was to examine ways to reduce the number of crashes involving large trucks on Virginia's roads. One of the goals of this task force was to identify engineering and technology measures that have the potential to improve large truck safety. The task force charged the Virginia Transportation Research Council with identifying engineering and technology measures that offer the potential to improve large truck safety. A literature review of these areas was conducted, and a survey of personnel in the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) was also carried out (1) to determine what measures have been implemented in Virginia, and (2) to solicit ideas for additional improvements. Traffic control improvements, geometric design changes, and intelligent transportation systems that improve truck safety are summarized in this report, and survey respondents. Recommendations for potential initiatives in engineering, enforcement, and education are also presented. The research showed that VDOT has already taken many actions to improve large truck safety issues and that further action could be taken in several areas: 1. VDOT's Mobility Management Division (MMD) should consider encouraging the use of dynamic truck speed advisory systems on freeway ramps where there are large numbers of rollover crashes. 2. VDOT's Location & Design Division should examine whether current design standards are adequate for the current truck fleet. 3. The MMD should consider developing guidelines for providing advance warning of the start of the red phase at intersections with limited sight distance. 4. The MMD should reexamine whether the truck lane restrictions are producing safety improvements. In addition to these measures, VDOT should continue to pursue the initiatives that are already underway, for example, the rumble strip program and measures to improve traveler information.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.

Last updated: December 3, 2023

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