Task Order 6205
Transportation Safety Research
Develop Methods to Reduce/Prevent Vehicle Backing Accidents
Caltrans' fleet of 14,000 vehicles covers over 16,000 miles of the state's highways, operating in a variety of tasks and conditions. In 2003, Caltrans had over 300 backing accidents, which represented 31% of all accidents deemed preventable. The incidence of backing accidents continues to increase, resulting in higher vehicle repair costs and elevated potential for injuries. This research will investigate causal factors and potential strategies for reducing backing accidents in Caltrans. A literature review of previous research in this area will be conducted. Next, several years of Caltrans backing accident data will be examined and a statistical table of causal and contributing factors will be evaluated. A survey of all Caltrans Divisions for existing solutions and countermeasures, training, and policies relevant to backing collisions will be undertaken as well as a review of the best safety practices and policies of large commercial fleet operators. This research aims to provide a means to generate a decision methodology ideal for uniform Caltrans-wide application. The final product will consist of tools that can be used by Headquarters to make district and department-wide assessments and decisions on vehicle fleet safety improvements. The results of this research will be immediately deployable.