C.A.S.H. SURVEY ON DRIVERS OF HEAVY GOODS VEHICLES IN

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1 C.A.S.H. reports 4: C.A.S.H. SURVEY ON DRIVERS OF HEAVY GOODS VEHICLES IN Traffic behaviour, attitudes, occupational health and cultural differences around Baltic Sea Sirkku Laapotti Kati Hernetkoski Ari Katila Martti Peräaho Esko Keskinen

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3 3 Publications 4:2012 C.A.S.H. SURVEY ON DRIVERS OF HEAVY GOODS VEHICLES IN Traffic behaviour, attitudes, occupational health and cultural differences around the Baltic Sea Sirkku Laapotti Kati Hernetkoski Ari Katila Martti Peräaho Esko Keskinen

4 4 University of Turku Turku School of Economics, FI University of Turku, Finland Published by C.A.S.H. Turku School of Economics, University of Turku FI University of Turku, Finland All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be produced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher. Whilst all reasonable care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of this publication, the publishers cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions. This publication has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The content of this publication is the sole responsibility of the authors and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union. ISBN (PDF) ISBN (PRINT) ::656

5 5 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This study is a part of the C.A.S.H. project (Connecting Authorities for Safer Heavy Goods Traffic in the Baltic Sea Region), which aims to make international road freight transport safer, more predictable and affordable in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR). The present study concentrates on the views of drivers of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) in the BSR: their self-reported traffic behavior, attitudes towards traffic safety, occupational health and experienced problems when driving internationally. Furthermore, drivers of border crossing heavy goods traffic were used as informants of cultural differences in traffic safety in the Baltic Sea countries. A survey was conducted between December, 2010 and September, The survey included three different kinds of questionnaires: Q 1: driver behaviour and attitudes towards traffic safety of HGV drivers. Q 2: drivers occupational health and daily life when working as a driver of HGV in foreign traffic. Q 3: drivers views on the traffic safety situation in different countries in the Baltic Sea region, and on issues related to law enforcement. Drivers were contacted mostly on the road in Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany and on the borders between these countries. Drivers were also contacted at international transport companies and at a Latvian institute for further education of HGV drivers. In all, 460 replies were gathered, and divided quite evenly between the different questionnaires. Respondents represented 12 different nationalities, but most of them were from Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. One fifth of the respondents in this study reported that they had been involved in a traffic accident during the last three years when driving an HGV abroad. Experiences of thefts were more common than experiences of accidents. One third of all drivers reported that during the last three years, either their vehicle or their cargo or fuel had been stolen. Although the respondents overall found that there are no big problems in their work as a driver of HGV, a considerable problem was

6 6 to find safe places where to rest. In addition, when drivers were asked to rank different things related to traffic safety culture in BSR, they ranked availability of safe parking places as the worst in the general level. At the general level respondents were quite healthy. About 80 percent of the drivers responded that they had no chronic diseases. However, 40 % of the drivers smoke regularly, 57 % were overweight to at least some extent and 28 % reported that they had sometimes dozed off while driving. The majority of the drivers reported that their employer offers regular health checks. The drivers whose employer offered some instruction programs for drivers of HGVs in foreign transport experienced fewer problems when driving in international carriage than those drivers whose employer does not offer any instruction programs. HGV drivers regarded the behaviour of other drivers, and traffic environment related factors as the most typical traffic safety risk factors. Speeding was common among drivers of HGVs, and speeding even considerable speeding - was not regarded as a serious traffic offence. According to the drivers, traffic safety culture differs within the Baltic Sea countries. Germany and the Scandinavian countries were typically ranked higher than other countries in comparison. Drivers evaluated that the risk of being caught by the police if different rules or regulations are broken when driving a HGV is quite high at the general level. There were small differences within the countries in the mean values of risk of being caught by police if breaking traffic rules and regulations. However, there seems to be some differences between the countries as to what rules and regulations are emphasized the most in the traffic enforcement.

7 7 TABLE OF CONTENTS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY... 5 TABLE OF CONTENTS... 7 LIST OF FIGURES... 9 LIST OF TABLES INTRODUCTION Purpose of this study METHOD Driver survey Police survey RESULTS Driving behaviour and attitudes of drivers of heavy goods vehicles Background information about the respondents Reasons for dangerous situations in traffic Traffic violations Penalties Traffic accidents, work accidents and theft Occupational health and lifestyle of drivers of heavy goods vehicles Background information about the respondents Company s support for occupational health Experienced problems when driving in foreign traffic Occupational health and lifestyle related issues Cultural differences in traffic safety and traffic law enforcement between countries around the Baltic Sea Background information about the respondents Traffic safety culture in different Baltic Sea Countries Risk of being caught by police if breaking traffic rules Values of driving companies... 55

8 8 4 CONCLUSIONS Traffic safety while driving abroad Occupational health and employer s support for drivers wellbeing Security while driving abroad Attitudes of drivers and police officers Traffic safety culture in the Baltic Sea Region Evaluation of the study method LIST OF REFERENCES APPENDIX 1: LIST OF PLACES WHERE DRIVERS OF HGVS WERE CONTACTED... 64

9 9 LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1. Study design in C.A.S.H. WP3 part 3.2 Traffic / Driver Behaviour Figure 2. Reported driving experience from different BSR countries.. 20 Figure 3. Means of the summary variables constructed from 13 items in the question: "How often did the following things cause a dangerous situation for you in traffic?" Figure 4. Comparison between police officers' and drivers' views concerning reasons for dangerous situations in traffic Figure 5. Percentage of drivers who admitted having violated the traffic rules at least seldom when driving a HGV Figure 6. How serious the drivers regarded the offences in terms of traffic safety Figure 7. Evaluation of seriousness of traffic violations. Drivers who reported having violated the traffic rules seldom or never Figure 8. Evaluation of seriousness of traffic violations. Drivers who admitted having violated the traffic rules at least sometimes Figure 9. Reasons for penalties of drivers from different countries Figure 10.Proportion of drivers who reported experiencing a theft during the last three years when working as a driver of a HGV Figure 11.Percentages of drivers having driving experience in different BSR countries Figure 12.Possibilities to influence work shifts. Distribution of replies of drivers from Finland, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, and Russia Figure 13.To what degree different things cause problems to the drivers of HGVs when driving in foreign traffic Figure 14.Proportion of respondents who replied that they have no problems with the asked item according to whether the employer offered an instruction program Figure 15.Reported driving experience from different BSR countries.. 42 Figure 16.Mean values of ratings of different matters related to traffic safety culture in the BSR countries... 44

10 10 Figure 17.Mean values of all ratings regarding traffic safety culture in the different BSR countries Figure 18.Mean values of "Explicitness of traffic guidance and signs" for the different BSR countries Figure 19.Mean values of "Driving in accordance with traffic rules" for the different BSR countries Figure 20.Mean values of "Traffic safety" for the different BSR countries Figure 21.Mean values of "Traffic fluency" for the different BSR countries Figure 22.Mean values of "Road conditions" for the different BSR countries Figure 23.Mean values of "Drivers' politeness" for the different BSR countries Figure 24.Mean values of "Authorities fairness and being unbiased" for the different BSR countries Figure 25.Mean values of "Other drivers don't take into account the special needs of HGVs" for the different BSR countries Figure 26.Mean values of "Availability of safe parking places" for the different BSR countries Figure 27.Mean values of all ratings regarding the risk of being caught by the police if different rules or regulations are broken when driving a HGV Figure 28. Mean values of the risk of being caught by the police if the speed limit is exceeded slightly for the different BSR countries Figure 29.Mean values of the risk of being caught by the police if the load limit is violated for the different BSR countries Figure 30.Mean values of the risk of being caught by the police if there are defects or faults in transport documents for the different BSR countries

11 11 LIST OF TABLES Table 1. The number of responses and nationality of respondents of each driver questionnaire Table 2. The number and proportion of the respondents from the different countries, respondents' mean age and driving experience in years Table 3. The factors and the scale used in the questionnaire to study the frequency of causes leading to dangerous situations when driving a HGV Table 4. Items on the questionnaire regarding traffic offences and dangerous driving behaviour Table 5. Items in the questionnaire regarding seriousness in terms of traffic safety of various offences against traffic rules and regulations Table 6. Items in the questionnaire regarding reasons for and the number of penalties Table 7. The number and proportion of the respondents from the different countries, and respondents' mean age and driving experience in years Table 8. The size of the driving company according to the nationality of the respondents Table 9. Problem causing things when driving in international carriage Table 10. The number and proportion of the respondents from the different countries, and respondents' mean age and driving experience in years Table 11. The percentage of drivers who reported having driven a HGV in the country during the last three years according to the nationality of the drivers Table 12. Items in the questionnaire regarding traffic safety culture Table 13. Items in the questionnaire regarding the risk of being caught by the police if rules or regulations are broken

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13 13 1 INTRODUCTION This study is a part of the C.A.S.H. project (Connecting Authorities for Safer Heavy Goods Traffic in the Baltic Sea Region). The main aim of the C.A.S.H. project is to make international road freight traffic safer within the Baltic Sea region. It will do this by improving co-operation between authorities, by harmonizing the training of inspection officials and by testing safety equipment and IT systems to be used by relevant authorities. The project is part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) through the Baltic Sea Region Programme The project has 13 organizations from 8 Baltic Sea countries including police and other authorities, regional councils and research institutes as partners. The duration of the project is three years (from September, 2009 to September, 2012). The co-ordinator of the project is the Turku School of Economics at the University of Turku. In the C.A.S.H. project, Traffic Psychology Research Group at the University of Turku was responsible for gathering data on the opinions of drivers regarding HGV safety in different countries around the Baltic Sea region, as well as of police officers responsible for HGV traffic law enforcement on the road (Figure 1). This report summarizes the findings of the survey of HGV drivers driving behaviour, attitudes towards traffic safety, and occupational health and opinions of traffic safety culture in different BSR countries. Further, it will describe the procedure and some results of a survey on the views of police officers on traffic law enforcement directed at HGVs, and on risk factors connected to road freight traffic. However, the main results of the survey on police officers are found in C.A.S.H. Note 5, and this report concentrates mostly on the findings of the survey on HGV drivers. 1.1 Purpose of this study Fatigue and health problems are common among professional drivers (Admundsen & Sagberg, 2003; Arnold, et al., 1998; Olkkonen, Ylä- Outinen & Pulkkinen, 2003; Taylor & Dorn, 2006). In particular, long distance driving, night shifts and hard time pressure bring challenges to

14 14 drivers physiological and psychological health. Problems with the health of professional drivers increase their risk of traffic accidents. There are differences between transport companies in how they support employers occupational health. (Houtman et al., 2004). There are also other driver related factors which may increase the risk of traffic accidents. Drivers behaviour and attitudes to traffic safety are important factors behind traffic safety. Different kinds of risky behaviour are common among professional drivers. For example, dangerous faults exist in loading and securing goods, and exceeding the speed limit is common among drivers of HGVs (Laapotti & Peräaho, 2011). Deregulation and open competition of road freight transport within the European Union has increased problems (Hilal, 2008). Harmonizing e.g. tax and labor legislation, roadside check arrangements, and sanction for companies that violate regulations or the law has been delayed in the EU. Economic competition between transport companies brings challenges to traffic safety and may be one factor behind the risky behaviour of professional drivers. Some rules, e.g. rules regarding driving and rest periods may be bypassed or drivers may even be encouraged to violate the rules by the employer due to hard competition and economical profit. On the other hand, there are studies which show that safe drivers and drivers who receive fewer citations allow carriers to be more profitable (Kent, Coulter & Coulter, 2011). Violations against the traffic rules and regulations are found to be connected to accidents. Traffic and work accidents cause huge costs for the carrier e.g. in the mode of material damages, human injuries, and litigation. Further, safe driving is typically connected to economical driving and thus less fuel consumption and costs for the carrier. This study aims to identify traffic safety attitudes and driving behaviour of drivers of HGVs. Further, drivers occupational health and daily life when driving abroad are studied as well as drivers views about traffic safety culture in different countries around the Baltic Sea. The results of this study have been presented partly in earlier published C.A.S.H. Notes 6 and 7 (2012). Results of the police survey have been presented in C.A.S.H. Note no 5 (2011).

15 15 2 METHOD 2.1 Driver survey A target group of the survey was drivers in border crossing heavy goods transport in the Baltic Sea region. Three different kinds of questionnaires were developed, first in Finnish and then translated from Finnish to English. After that the questionnaires were translated from English to Danish, German, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Russian and Swedish. Translations were done by translation agencies and further checked by natives of each language (except Polish). In each questionnaire there were similar background questions such as the age and nationality of the driver, the nationality and size of the driving company they were working for and some questions regarding the driving experience of respondents. After the common background questions there were different questions according to the questionnaire type. Questionnaire 1 (Q1) measured HGV drivers self-reported behaviour and attitudes towards traffic safety related issues. Drivers were asked what things according to their opinion are causing dangerous situations in traffic, how often they themselves have broken the traffic rules and incurred penalties and how serious they think the offences against traffic rules are. Further there were questions about the number and seriousness of accidents and whether they had experiences of theft when driving in international carriage. The items and the evaluation scale for the question How often did the following things cause you a dangerous situation in traffic? were similar in the drivers questionnaire as was in the questionnaire which police officers answered earlier in the web. The question for police officers was: How often do the following things connected to heavy goods vehicles (HVG) cause dangerous situations in traffic? Questionnaire 2 (Q2) measured HGV drivers occupational health and lifestyle related issues. Drivers were asked in what degree has their knowledge or skills caused problems to them when they have been driving a heavy goods vehicle in foreign traffic. They were asked about

16 16 their daily routines and habits related to their health and well-being and about chronic diseases. They were also asked whether their employer offers some support to them, e.g. by offering further education for driving in international carriage or regular health checks. Questionnaire 3 (Q3) measured drivers views about traffic safety and enforcement related issues in different countries around the Baltic Sea. Drivers were thought to be good informants of traffic safety culture of different countries because of their driving experience in many countries. Thus they could give comparative information of traffic safety related issues in different countries. The idea was that one driver would reply to only one questionnaire. However, in practice several drivers answered two or all three questionnaires. In the following results, the data on each questionnaire is analyzed as if they were separate from each other. The total number of responses was 460 divided quite evenly between the different questionnaires (Table 1). The survey was done mostly on the road by students of the Turku University of Applied Sciences. Students handed the questionnaires to HGV drivers who were e.g. at a service station or waiting at harbors (in Finland: Naantali, Vuosaari, Hamina, and Kotka; in Sweden: Kapellskär; in Germany: Travemünde) or at customs (Finnish and Russian border) and asked them to reply to the questions. Drivers were also reached at ferries between Finland and Sweden and between Germany and Finland. Further, drivers were reached at some transport enterprises which were involved in international transport (e.g. in Vilnius, in Naantali) and at the institutes where drivers of HGVs had come to have further education (in Latvia). The survey was done between December, 2010 and September, A list of all places where drivers of HGVs were contacted for the survey is in Appendix Police survey Besides the driver survey, the survey for police officers who were involved in the traffic law enforcement of HG transport was also conducted. The main purpose of the survey was to study the views of police officers in the Baltic Sea region on traffic law enforcement directed at heavy goods vehicles, and on risk factors connected to road freight traffic. It was hypothesized that there might be differences in opinions of police officers from different countries. Although a single

17 17 police officer has to work according to the given orders, the opinions of police officers says something about safety culture in the same way as the opinions of the drivers. The traffic law might be the same in different countries, but differences might still exist e.g. in what is the order of importance of various traffic safety related issues. Police officers from Denmark, Estonia, Germany (Hamburg), Norway, Sweden and Finland, responsible for HGV transport law enforcement, received a survey in their own language. The survey was distributed in WEBPROPOL format through the Internet. The data was gathered between December 2010 and February The police officers were asked to assess two things: 1) What areas do they regard important in HGV transport law enforcement, and 2) What do they regard as being dangerous in traffic involving HGVs. The second question was also included in a survey directed to HGV drivers (questionnaire 1), in order to make a comparison later between the views of drivers and police officers. The main results of the police survey are presented in C.A.S.H. note no 5 (2011). The present report doesn t present the results of the police survey, only the results of the comparison between police officers and drivers views. Figure 1. Study design in C.A.S.H. WP3 part 3.2 Traffic / Driver Behaviour

18 18 Table 1. The number of responses and nationality of respondents of each driver questionnaire. Q1 Q2 Q3 Total Finland Russia Latvia Estonia Lithuania Poland Sweden Germany Denmark Norway Netherlands Belarus Thailand Total

19 19 3 RESULTS 3.1 Driving behaviour and attitudes of drivers of heavy goods vehicles Background information about the respondents In all, 153 drivers replied to the questionnaire 1 (Table 2). Most of the drivers who replied were from Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania (81 % of all replies). Drivers age varied from 20 to 68 years. Mean age of the drivers was 43.8 years. The mean age was the highest in Denmark, Lithuania and Finland and the lowest in Sweden, Russia, Estonia and Poland. Overall, the drivers were quite experienced as drivers and they also typically had several years of experience of driving abroad. The drivers had been working as drivers of heavy goods vehicles for 19 years on average. They had on average 13 years of work experience in transporting goods across borders. (Table 2). Table 2. The number and proportion of the respondents from the different countries, respondents' mean age and driving experience in years. Nationality Number of replies Proportion of replies in % Mean age Years as a driver of a HGV Experience of driving abroad, years Finland % Russia % Estonia % Latvia % Lithuania % Sweden % Poland % Germany % Denmark % Other* % In all % *Other=Belarus, Netherlands, Norway

20 20 Drivers typically worked in a company that had 11 to 50 transport vehicles (32 % of the replies). Small companies were also typical: 26 per cent of drivers replied that the company they worked in had only one to four transport vehicles. The employer or the company was typically located in the same country where the driver came from. The employer or the company was located the most often in Finland (31 %). Russia (16 %), Latvia (14 %), Lithuania (11 %) and Estonia (9 %) were also mentioned often as a country where the driver s company or employer was located. Most of the drivers had driving experience from Finland (72 %), Sweden (70 %), Germany (62 %) and Denmark (52 %). (Fig. 2). Only about 1/3 of the drivers had driving experience from Russia. The nationalities of the drivers who had driving experience from Russia were Russian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Finnish or Estonian % Finland Sweden Germany Denmark Poland Norway Lithuania Latvia Estonia Russia Figure 2. Reported driving experience from different BSR countries.

21 Reasons for dangerous situations in traffic The drivers were asked to assess how often different factors connected to HGV traffic have caused dangerous situations for them. There were 13 items in the questionnaire regarding traffic safety and the drivers were asked to evaluate the items in a 5-point scale according to how often they think the item has caused dangerous situations for them in traffic (Table 3). Table 3. The factors and the scale used in the questionnaire to study the frequency of causes leading to dangerous situations when driving a HGV. Abbreviations in the brackets refer to the summary variables. How often have the following things caused a dangerous situation for you in traffic? (circle the suitable alternative) Never Seldom Some- Often Very times often Other road users don t take into account the special requirements of heavy vehicles (OB) High speeds of other road users (OB) Low speeds of other road users (OB) Overtaking by other road users (OB) My own carelessness (OWN) My own speed which is too high (OWN) My own fatigue (OWN) Bad condition of the vehicle I drive (V) Speed limiters in heavy goods vehicles (V) Timetables that are too tight (TT) Poor winter maintenance of roads (E) Bad general condition of roads (E) Navigation difficulties (finding the way) (E) Five summary variables were constructed from the 13 items named others behaviour (OB), own behaviour (OWN), vehicle (V), timetables (TT) and traffic environment (E). In general, drivers evaluated that dangerous situations were caused by matters related to the behaviour of other drivers, the traffic environment, or timetables, and not so much to their own behaviour or the vehicle (Fig. 3). There were overall no big differences between drivers from different countries in this respect, although the Latvian and the Russian drivers were least often of the opinion that dangerous situations are caused by vehicle

22 22 related matters or tight timetables. Compared to drivers from other countries, Russian drivers also regarded the behaviour of other road users as less dangerous. 5 4,5 Estonia, n=21 Finland, n=40 Latvia, n=17 Lithuania, n=17 Russia, n=23 4 3,5 3 2,5 2 1,5 1 Others behaviour Own behaviour Vehicle Timetables Traffic environment Figure 3. Means of the summary variables constructed from 13 items in the question: "How often did the following things cause a dangerous situation for you in traffic?". Values represent mean evaluations on a 5-point scale (1 = never; 5 = very often) The items and the evaluation scale for the question regarding dangerous situations were the same as in a previous questionnaire directed to police officers responsible for HGV transport law enforcement on the road (an Internet questionnaire in December 2010 and January 2011; see C.A.S.H. Note 5). This made it possible to compare drivers and police officers ratings. It can be noted (Fig. 4) that both police officers and drivers evaluated poor winter maintenance, the fact that other road users do not take into account the special requirements of heavy vehicles, and the high driving speed of other road users to be the factors which most often cause dangerous situations to drivers of HGVs. However, police officers

23 23 evaluated risk factors connected to drivers of HGVs (e.g. fatigue, too high speed, and carelessness) as being dangerous more often than drivers did. The police officers also evaluated that timetables that were too tight is the factor that most often causes dangerous situations for heavy goods transport. The biggest difference between the evaluations of police officers and drivers had to do with the condition of the HGVs. Drivers regarded the bad condition of the vehicle I drive to be the factor that causes the least often amount of dangerous situations in traffic, whereas police officers regarded the bad condition of HGVs to be among the factors that most frequently cause danger. Too tight timetables HGV drivers' fatigue HGV drivers' too high speed Poor winter maintenance HGV drivers' carelessness Others don't take into account HGV features Others' high speed Bad condition of HGVs Overtaking by others Bad condition of roads Others' low speed Navigation difficulties Drivers Police Speed limiters 1 1,5 2 2,5 3 3,5 4 4,5 5 Figure 4. Comparison between police officers' and drivers' views concerning reasons for dangerous situations in traffic. Values represent mean evaluations on a 5-point scale (1=never; 5=very often).

24 Traffic violations There were 11 items in the questionnaire related to various kinds of traffic offences or otherwise dangerous behaviour while driving a heavy goods vehicle. Drivers were asked to evaluate how often they have been involved in such behaviour by using a 5-point scale from never to very often (Table 4). Further, the drivers were asked how serious they regarded such behaviour in terms of traffic safety (Table 5). Seriousness was evaluated by a 4-point scale from not serious to extremely serious. Table 4. Items on the questionnaire regarding traffic offences and dangerous driving behaviour. How often have you Never Seldom Some- Often Very times often Exceeded the speed limit slightly (less than 10 km/h) Exceeded the speed limit considerably (more than 10 km/h) Driven despite being fatigued Violated against the rules of driving and rest periods Violated against regulations regarding loading and securing of goods Driven a defective or faulty vehicle Tailgated (driven too close to vehicle in front) Driven with overload Driven while impaired by alcohol Driven despite having a hangover ( morning after ) Driven while impaired by drugs

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