Introduction: Injuries and fatalities due to large truck and other vehicle crashes have decreased over the last decade, but motor vehicle injuries remain a leading cause of death for both the working and general populations. The present study was undertaken to determine semi truck driver and sleeper berth passenger injury risk in a moving semi truck collision using a matched-pair cohort study.
Method: Study data were obtained from the Kentucky Collision Report Analysis for Safer Highways (CRASH) electronic files for 2000 - 2010. A matched-pair cohort study was used to compare the odds of injury of both drivers and sleeper berth passengers within the same semi truck controlling for variables specific to the crash or the semi truck. The crude odds ratio of injury was estimated and a statistical model for a correlated outcome using generalized estimating equations was utilized.
Results: In a moving semi truck collision, the odds for an injury were increased by 2.25 times for both semi truck drivers and sleeper berth passengers who did not use occupant safety restraints compared to semi truck drivers and sleeper berth passengers who used occupant safety restraints at the time of the collision. The driver seat or sleeper berth position in the vehicle was not a significant factor (p-value= 0.31) associated with a moving semi truck collision injury.
Conclusion: Nonuse of occupant safety restraints by either drivers or sleeper berth passengers significantly increased the odds of an injury in a moving semi truck collision; semi truck seating position (driver’s seat or sleeper berth) did not increase the odds for an injury in moving collisions.
Impact on Industry: Trucking companies should include the mandatory use of occupant safety restraints by both semi truck drivers and sleeper berth passengers in their company safety policies.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Bunn, Terry L.; Slavova, Svetla; and Robertson, Medearis, "Motor Vehicle Injuries among Semi Truck Drivers and Sleeper Berth Passengers" (2013). Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center Faculty Publications. 1.