Operation Safe Driver Week Results

Driver behavior cited as critical reason behind crashes

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) recently published the results of Operation Safe Driver Week, Oct. 15-21, 2017. Enforcement personnel issued 59,193 warnings and citations to commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers and passenger vehicle drivers for unsafe driving behaviors on our roadways. 

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Highway Loss Data Institute, 3,852 people died in large truck crashes in 2015. Sixteen percent of those deaths were truck occupants, 69 percent were occupants of passenger vehicles. Many of those crashes were the direct result of driver behavior.

In fact, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration “Large Truck Crash Causation Study” cites driver behavior as the critical reason for more than 88 percent of large truck crashes and 93 percent of passenger vehicle crashes.

Crash study results

During Operation Safe Driver Week, law enforcement agencies throughout the United States and Canada increased roadway traffic safety enforcement and education to address dangerous driving behaviors by CMV drivers and passenger vehicle drivers.

Top 5 Safety Citations

The top five warnings/citations issued to CMV drivers were:

  1. State/Local Moving Violations – 84.2 percent (of warnings/citations)
  2. Speeding – 7.4 percent
  3. Failure to Use Seat Belt – 2.6 percent
  4. Failure to Obey Traffic Control Device – 2.5 percent
  5. Using a Handheld Phone – 0.8 percent

The top five warnings/citations issued to passenger vehicle drivers were:

  1. Speeding – 43.5 percent (of warnings/citations)
  2. State/Local Moving Violations – 36.2 percent
  3. Failure to Use Seat Belt – 9.4 percent
  4. Failure to Obey Traffic Control Device – 2.3 percent
  5. Improper Lane Change – 1.5 percent

A summary of takeaways from the OSD traffic enforcement results:

Tickets/citations: While commercial truck drivers received 80% of the warnings, passenger vehicle drivers received more tickets, 60% of the tickets.

  • A total of 38,878 citations/warnings were issued to CMV drivers.
  • A total of 20,315 citations/warnings were issued to passenger vehicle drivers.
  • 30,714 warnings and 8,164 citations were recorded for CMV drivers.
  • 7,785 warnings and 12,530 citations were recorded for passenger vehicle drivers.

Speeding: PV drivers received almost 6 times as many speeding citations as CMV drivers

  • 43.5 percent of passenger vehicle driver warnings/citations were issued for speeding, versus 7.4 percent of CMV driver warnings/citations.

Distracted Driving: PV drivers were more likely to be texting, while CMV drivers were more likely to use a handheld phone.

  • When it comes to distracted driving, 0.1 percent of CMV driver warnings/citations were for texting and 0.8 percent were for using a handheld phone. For passenger vehicle drivers, 0.7 percent of warnings/citations were for texting and 0.5 percent were for using a handheld phone.

Not wearing seatbelts: PV drivers failed to wear their seatbelts more than 3.5 times that of CMV drivers

  • For both CMV drivers (2.6 percent) and passenger vehicle drivers (9.4 percent) failure to wear a seatbelt was the third most cited traffic enforcement violation for each group.

Other details:

  • Less than one percent of warnings/citations for CMV drivers (0.6 percent) and passenger vehicle drivers (0.9 percent) were for following too closely.
  • 16 CMV drivers received a warning/citation for using/equipping a CMV with a radar detector.
  • A small percentage of warnings/citations were for inattentive or careless driving – 0.2 percent of CMV drivers and 1.3 percent of passenger vehicle drivers.
  • 19 CMV drivers received a citation for operating their vehicle while ill or fatigued; 86 received a warning.


“Countless lives are tragically lost on our roadways due to unsafe, risky, inattentive or careless acts by drivers,” said CVSA Executive Director Collin Mooney. “In fact, driver behavior is often the most important factor in crashes. Operation Safe Driver Week raises awareness about safe driver operations in and around trucks and buses.”

The Operation Safe Driver Program aims to combat the number of deaths and injuries resulting from crashes involving large trucks, buses and passenger vehicles through educational and enforcement strategies in an effort to improve the driving behaviors of all drivers operating in an unsafe manner, either in or around commercial motor vehicles.

The results of the crash study and the Operation Safe Driver Week shows that there is a lot of room for improvement regarding driver behavior for both CMV and PV drivers. Safety needs to be the first priority for anyone who gets behind the wheel. Every driver needs to be responsible for their actions/behavior while driving. Eliminate or minimize all distractions when you are driving, drive smart and be safe.



CSVA 2017 OSD week results