TransActions. A Call to Action. As members of ASSE, working in all. NAOSH Week 2007 May

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1 A TECHNICAL PUBLICATION OF ASSE S TRANSPORTATION PRACTICE SPECIALTY TransActions AMERICAN SOCIETY OF SAFETY ENGINEERS A Call to Action As members of ASSE, working in all industries throughout the U.S. and around the world, we continue to make great strides in improving workplace safety. Yet, year after year, transportation crashes continue to be the leading cause of on-the-job deaths. In 2005 alone, 6,159,000 vehicle crashes killed 43,443 people while injuring 2.7 million. In addition, fatal transportation incidents remained the most frequent type of fatal workplace event, accounting for 2,480 of the 5,702 total fatal occupational injuries recorded in The economic impact of all transportation accidents in the U.S. in 2005 was $230.6 billion. The problem is not unique to the U.S. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in higher-income countries, road traffic accidents were among the top 10 causes of disease burden in 1998 as measured in disability-adjusted life years (DALYs). Road traffic injuries are expected to take third place in the rank order of disease burden by the year In less-developed countries, road traffic accidents were the most significant cause of injuries, ranking 11th among the most important causes of lost years of healthy life. According to a WHO/World Bank report, The Global Burden of Disease, deaths from noncommunicable diseases are expected to climb from 28.1 million a year in 1990 to 49.7 million by 2020 an increase of 77% in absolute numbers. Traffic accidents are the main cause of this rise. So how can we help make a difference? North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week, which runs May 6-12, 2007, is one tool we can use to increase awareness of the importance of preventing injury and illness in the workplace. To support this year s focus all modes of transportation safety we have developed this special edition of TransActions. The newsletter can be used worldwide for NAOSH Week events and throughout the year. It is available for download at naosh07, where you will also find many other tools and ideas for supporting NAOSH Week. We encourage you to use the best practices discussed in this newsletter during NAOSH Week and throughout the year. Share this information with your community, schools, clients, local businesses, and colleagues and friends. Encourage your employees and all those you know to drive wisely, follow traffic laws and rules, and stay attentive to the driving task at hand. Urge your employers and clients to review their driver safety policies and consider including elements to prohibit workers from conducting business on a cell phone while driving, mandate seatbelt use and develop NAOSH Week 2007 May work schedules that allow employees to obey speed limits and follow hours-ofservice regulations. To further highlight the extent of this problem, we have culled some statistics from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration s (NHTSA) National Center for Statistics and Analysis Traffic Safety Facts of 2005 and the WHO (see pg. 4-5). We encourage you to share these with your employers, co-workers and communities to further reduce the millions of transportation accidents we witness worldwide annually. By providing businesses, communities and the general public with tools they can use to address the issue of road safety, we can make a difference.

2 In This Issue Handling Accident 3 Investigations & Reconstruction A look at investigation techniques, equipment needed, evidence, occupant movement, professional ethics and testimony. 4 Statistics Tell the Story Key statistics from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the World Health Organization reveal the toll taken by roadway crashes. Transportation & Food 15 Distribution Safety This article examines the risks posed to the nation s food supply and discusses actions to be taken to prevent intentional attack on the food supply. Safe Vehicle Operations 17 An aggressive safe vehicle operations program can help improve financial results, increase knowledge and improve employee morale. Effective Driver 19 Training Programs Sound training helps reduce costs and increase revenue streams. Bridges & Tunnels 21 in the Nation s Largest City An interview with Martha Walther, of New York s Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Shop Safety Checklist 23 A checklist to help these garages conduct regular safety inspections. Injuries Sustained in 25 Low-Speed Collisions: Fact or Fiction Guidelines for performing an accurate accident reconstruction. Value of a Written 27 Safety Program Developing a written safety program can help you analyze critical business elements and can provide insight into areas in need of improvement. Pandemic vs. Preparedness 29 A review of actions companies can take to prepare for an outbreak of avian flu. Transportation Practice Specialty OFFICERS Administrator Doug Cook Assistant Administrator Frank D Ambrosio Newsletter Editor Nancy Bendickson COMMITTEES Awards & Honors Chair Scott Mugno Conferences & Seminars Chair Carmen Daecher Membership Development Gerry Eaker Website Chair Bob Lake Staff Liaison Rennie Heath Special Issue Newsletter Design & Production Sue Trebswether The Compass newsletter is a publication of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) Management Practice Specialty, 1800 E. Oakton St., Des Plaines, IL 60018, and is distributed free of charge to members of the Management Practice Specialty. The opinions expressed in articles herein are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of ASSE. Technical accuracy is the responsibility of the author(s). Please send address changes to the address above; fax to (847) ; or send via to 2 NAOSH Week 2007 Special Edition

3 Handling Accident Investigations & Reconstruction By Dennis Andrews, Ph.D. Professional investigators and reconstructionists in the transportation industry are necessary for several reasons. Law enforcement investigates accidents for the possibility of criminal charges, while insurance companies and lawyers use investigators for liability issues during civil trials or for use in establishing tables for premium rates. Each year, the National Automotive Sampling System-General Estimates System (NASS-GES) and the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) randomly collect about 57,000 police accident reports (PARs) and data from states existing documents (e.g., driver licenses, hospital medical records, coroners reports, vital statistics) to evaluate and publish a statistical analysis information report on motor vehicle collisions (National Highway Traffic Administration [NHTSA], 2002). In the last few years, NHTSA has decided to use the terms impacts, crashes or collisions. It felt that the term accident implied that collisions could not have been avoided. Most people outside of NHTSA still use the terms accident investigation or accident reconstruction. The GES report lists various statistics that are useful in a general way. The statistics do not indicate the Delta V severity of collisions or present crush deformation data for comparison and profiling. The main purpose of this report is to provide researchers and interested parties with a large database of collisions statistics for safety, design and cost analysis. Trucking companies investigate accidents involving their drivers so that they can determine whether a specific accident was preventable. If preventable, the driver is advised and a note is placed in his file for future performance evaluations. It should be noted that the term preventable used by the trucking industry does not mean the driver was liable or caused the collision. This term has meaning only in the trucking industry and consensus agrees it is used to determine whether the driver did everything reasonably possible to avoid the impact, even if he was not the cause. Obviously, the legal profession and insurance companies rely heavily on quality investigations and reconstructions for a purely monetary motivation. Plaintiff attorneys rely on investigations for part of their income, and the insurance industry relies on investigations as part of a rejection of a claim. Insurance companies also use the results of investigations and reconstructions to estimate premium costs in a given area for the type of vehicle, age of the driver, use of the vehicle, etc. Motor vehicle manufacturers use collisions statistics to design safer vehicles for the occupants and to help reduce collision repair costs. Motor vehicle manufacturers perform their own crash testing using sophisticated anthropomorphic dummies to determine the severity of several types of impacts and to correlate these data with the probability of injury. Governments worldwide regulate the manufacture of products, including motor vehicles for the safety of the public. These regulations can vary from country to country, and they are usually based on the personal opinions and research of the regulators and manufacturing officials. Accident investigations and reconstructions are not confined to motor vehicle accidents they include all types of possible injuries. National Safety Council (NSC) and OSHA are leaders in the fight against on-the-job injuries. These organizations offer counseling and seminars to help employers reduce injuries and deaths. Product liability is another area where a quality accident investigation is necessary to learn the mechanism of injuries and ways to design out problems. Qualifications for the accident investigator/reconstructionist vary widely. They can include a degree in an area related to the investigation, or education through seminars, individual courses or experience. If the investigator or reconstructionist is an independent consultant rather than an employee, s/he may include testifying as an expert as part of his/her consulting service. Federal court rules of evidence provide clearly for the necessary qualifications to testify as an expert witness on a subject. The rules state that a person may qualify to give expert opinion based on their skill, knowledge, experience, training or education. In fact, a degree is not necessary unless the expert opinion is of a nature where a licensed professional would be necessary. In the case of a motor vehicle accident investigation/reconstruction, many people without engineering degrees qualify as experts. Accident investigation/reconstruction is currently not taught in engineering schools. Most engineers believe that their training, whether it is civil or mechanical, constitutes sufficient education or training for accident investigation/reconstruction. While engineers as well as others are taught physics, specifics of accident investigation/reconstruction are not taught. Specific subjects required for a quality accident investigation/reconstruction include crush deformation, restitution and stiffness of specific vehicles, tire marks, including deceleration marks, and roadway evidence. Several colleges, universities and organizations offer accident investigation/- reconstruction training through individual courses or specific seminars. Equipment for Scene Investigation/Reconstruction Equipment varies widely, but most investigators/reconstructionists use the same basic tools. Tools are used to measure, categorize or preserve the forensic evidence gathered at the scene of an investigation. Forensic evidence that must be located, preserved and measured includes the final resting positions of all vehicles, pedestrians and bicycles; vehicle debris and its pattern; tire marks (including deceleration and yaw marks); the type of roadway and its coefficient of friction; the condition and type of shoulders, shoulder ruts or drop-offs; permanent damage of all vehicles and any missing components; and roadway gouge or scrape marks as well as off-roadway damage or marks. Tools can include a 25-ft tape measure, a 100-ft tape measure, inclinometer, chalk and carpenter s crayon, weatherproof cards and waterproof pens, flashlights, a longdistance measuring device such as a laser light and a good-quality 35mm camera with 400 or faster speed film. Also needed are preprinted forms for use when describing roadway evidence or measuring the continued on page 6 TransActions 3

4 Statistics Tell the Story On-the-Job. In 2004, 5,703 people died from on-the-job injuries, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Of those, 2,460 were transportation-related with 1,374 were roadway related, 335 were non-roadway related, 230 involved aircrafts, 377 were pedestrians struck by a vehicle, 90 involved a water vehicle and 50 occurred on a railway. Male Dominated. In 2005, a total of 43,443 people died from traffic crashes. The majority of those killed were drivers 23,240 and males made up 75.7% of the total number of people/vehicle occupants killed in car crashes, while females made up 24%. Vehicles. Four-wheel-drive pickup trucks Crash Fatalities on Holidays in 2005 Thanksgiving = 620 (44% AR) July 4 = 490 (51% AR) Memorial Day = 529 (48% AR) Labor Day = 506 (51% AR) New Year s Day = 471 (50% AR) Christmas= 398 (45% AR) (AR = alcohol related) and sport utility vehicles (SUVs) are designed to be driven for work, hauling and off-road purposes. NHTSA reports that SUVs are four times more likely to roll over than passenger cars in high-speed maneuvers. In addition, some smaller, top-heavy SUVs have rolled over in NHTSA side-impact collision testing. SUV-to-car collisions are six times more likely to kill the occupants of the smaller vehicle when compared to a normal carto-car collision. History Predicts. According to the U.S. Fatal Accident Reporting System, 6,483 motor vehicle operators involved in fatal crashes had previous recorded crashes; 3,904 had previous recorded suspensions or revocations; 889 had previous DUI convictions; 9,829 had previous speeding convictions; 7,974 had previous other harmful moving convictions. Weather. In the U.S., most crashes occur during normal weather during daylight hours. This is true for fatal crashes, injury crashes and property-damage-only crashes. The next deadliest time for driving was during rainy periods followed by snow/sleet periods. Incapacitated. Of the 2.7 million injured in car crashes, 286,000 are incapacitated and likely will never regain full use of their bodies. Telling Trends. Police reports provide valuable insight to crash trends: 1) 58% of fatal crashes involved only one vehicle, compared with 31% of injury crashes and 31% of property-damage only crashes. 2) More than half of fatal crashes occurred on roads with posted speed limits of 55 mph or more, while only 23% of property-damageonly crashes occurred on these roads. 3) Collision with another motor vehicle in transport was the most common first harmful event for fatal, injury and property-damage-only crashes. Collisions with fixed objects and noncollisions accounted for only 19% of all crashes, but accounted for 44% of fatal crashes. 5) Nearly 40% of fatal crashes involved alcohol. U.S. traffic fatalities increased by 1.4 percent in 2005 When Do Crashes Occur in the U.S.? July 3,753 October 3,631 September 3,501 November 3,416 June 3,379 May 3,314 When Do Crashes Occur in the U.S.? April 3,235 December 3,219 March 2,885 January 2,816 February 2,618 4 NAOSH Week 2007 Special Edition

5 In its World Report on Road Traffic Injury Prevention, World Health Organization (WHO) reported that data show that in 2002 nearly 1.2 million people worldwide died as a result of road traffic injuries. This represents an average of 3,242 persons dying each day around the world from road traffic injuries. In addition to these deaths, between 20 million and 50 million people globally are estimated to be injured or disabled each year. In the same year, the overall global road traffic injury mortality rate was 19.0 per population Low-income and middle-income countries had a rate slightly greater than the global average, while that for high-income countries was considerably lower. The vast majority 90% of road traffic deaths were in low-income and middle-income countries. Only 10% of road traffic deaths occurred in high-income countries. According to WHO data for 2002, road traffic injuries accounted for 2.1% of all global deaths and ranked as the 11th leading cause of death. Furthermore, these road traffic deaths accounted for 23% of all injury deaths worldwide. In 2002, road traffic injuries were the ninth leading cause of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) lost, accounting for more than 38 million DALYs lost or 2.6% of the global burden of disease. Low-income and middle-income countries account for 91.8% of the DALYs lost to road traffic injuries worldwide. These observations illustrate the fact that low-income and middle-income countries carry most of the burden of the world s road traffic injuries. According to WHO data, road traffic deaths have risen from approximately 999,000 in 1990 to just over 1.1 million in 2002 an increase of 2005 Transportation Fatalities & Injuries: U.S. Vehicle Type Occupants Killed Occupants Injured Passenger cars 18,440 1,573,000 Light Trucks/SUVs 12, ,000 Large Trucks ,000 Buses 58 11,000 Other/Unknown ,000 Total 33,041 2,494,000 Nonoccupants Killed Injured Motorcyclists 4,553 87,000 Pedestrians 4,881 64,000 Pedal cyclists ,000 Other/Unknown 184 8,000 Total 5, ,000 The Worldwide Toll around 10%. Lowincome and middleincome countries account for the majority of this increase. Although the number of road traffic injuries has continued to rise in the world as a whole, time series analysis reveals that road traffic fatalities and mortality rates show clear differences in the pattern of growth between highincome countries and low-income and middleincome countries. In general, since the 1960s and 1970s, there has been a decrease in the numbers and rates of fatalities in high-income countries such as Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the U.S. At the same time, there has been a pronounced rise in numbers and rates in many low-income and middle-income countries. Based on its Global Burden of Disease model, WHO predicts that by 2020: Road traffic injuries will rise in rank to sixth place as a major cause of death worldwide. Road traffic injuries will rise to become the third leading cause of DALYs lost. Road traffic injuries will become the sec- What Contributed to Fatalities in 2005? Failure to keep in proper lane or running off road = 16,551 Driving too fast for conditions or in excess of posted speed limit = 11,803 DUI = 7,441 Failure to yield right of way = 4,306 Distractive driving/inattentive = 3,415 Operating in erratic/reckless/ careless/negligent manner = 2,712 Failure to obey traffic signs, signals or officer = 2,354 ond leading cause of DALYs lost for low-income and middle-income countries. Road traffic deaths will increase worldwide, from 0.99 million to 2.34 million (representing 3.4% of all deaths). Road traffic deaths will increase on average by more than 80% in low-income and middle-income countries and decline by almost 30% in high-income countries. DALYs lost will increase worldwide from 34.3 million to 71.2 million (representing 5.1% of the global burden of disease). TransActions 5

6 Handling Accident Investigations continued from page 3 crush deformation of vehicles (Baker, 1986). More sophisticated tools such as computer programs and animations can be used in analyzing evidence gathered. Some of these programs are expensive, while the more simple programs are less expensive. Additional tools that should be carried to remove specific parts required for further analysis are a set of screwdrivers, drive sockets, Allen wrenches, a cordless drill and a 1-sq-ft tile or piece of wood for use in photos. This tile is used as a reference when taking photos to determine the dimensions of debris or other items within the photo. It should be said at this point that the removal or damage of evidence without proper authority could destroy your case. Tools both for use in the field and in the office can be very personal, and as the investigator/ reconstructionist gains experience, additional tools and even special tools will be devised and needed. Photographic equipment, whether a 35mm camera, a video camera or a digital camera, is a necessity for every investigation. The saying a picture is worth a 1,000 words is more than appropriate for investigative work. When using 35mm film, consider developing this film with a glossy finish rather than a matte finish. Glossy prints can be magnified to identify subtle marks, striations or surface transfers. When a matte finish is used, the grain of the photo will be magnified as you magnify a select area for review. Simply obtaining enlargements may not be a better choice than magnifying the typical 4 x 6 color print, since as the photo is enlarged, the grain becomes hazy and subtle evidence could be missed. When taking 35mm photos of the scene, it is best to use a 50mm lens since it is agreed within the profession that this lens closely replicates the human eye. In fact, a 53mm lens more closely replicates the eye, but this type of lens is difficult to locate. The video camera is a useful tool when motion is required over still photography. Some computers can import videotape and display specific scenes when paused. The paused scene could then be printed. While this technology is exciting, the printed scene is usually not as clear as a 35mm print. With the popularity of digital cameras and s, most people have 6 NAOSH Week 2007 Special Edition chosen to use this to preserve evidence. One caution with digital cameras is that the actual picture can be manipulated; if this is done, the photo would be inadmissible as evidence for a true representation of either a scene or a piece of evidence. Of course, while working at a scene, safety is of critical. Orange reflective vests should be mandatory for anyone working on or near the roadway. Other safety equipment includes a yellow flasher on the top of your vehicle if it needs to be parked on the roadway shoulder for any length of time. A technical library is probably one of the most important tools, besides the Internet, that an investigator/reconstructionist can have. While it would be impossible, if not impractical, to have all available written documents of specific subjects, it is possible to compile a satisfactory library of documents for reference. The Internet is a valuable tool for research into subjects to which you do not have immediate access. While at the scene, information to prepare a scale diagram must be obtained. Two types of methods, triangulation and coordination, are used. Triangulation simply indicates the measurement of three locations in reference to themselves. Coordination uses a reference line, which can be a curb line and a reference point and usually is the evidence itself. There are many ways of documenting these measurements, including photography and video. There are more expensive methods that cost $10,000 or more. Given a sufficient amount of time, the standard tape measure or rolling measuring stick would be sufficient and accurate if these devices had been tested for accuracy by the local state weights and measures department. The best and simplest procedure to plot a curve would be to use the chord and middle ordinate method learned in geometry. Other methods are available, but the chord and middle ordinate method is universally used. If the intersection is controlled by a traffic light, it is wise to obtain the operational schematic on the subject traffic light for review. The traffic light has various timing sequences, which can be very important in an investigation. Some traffic lights are more complicated depending on the number of roadway legs entering into the intersection. There are several signal indications for a typical intersection such as red, green and yellow, which may be accompanied by a yellow, red or green arrow (International Municipal Signal Association [IMSA], 1997). Many actions can be programmed into the central system of traffic signals, some of which consider speed, traffic flow and intersection design (IMSA, 1997). Additional considerations of the accident scene, such as signs and markings of the roadway, should be investigated as well. Traffic control signs and markings are used to promote an orderly and predictable flow of traffic and to assist the driver in reaching his/her destination as quickly and as safely is possible (IMSA, 1993). At times, signs and markings are improperly placed by human error, or the traffic study is flawed and the sign or marking creates an unsafe hazard. Another area which has a high potential of accidents that probably surpasses intersections is a work zone. Because of the appearance of mass confusion and work personnel moving in every direction, the driver becomes frustrated and may not perform the appropriate driving task. Work zones have specific rules and terminology such as shall, should and may. The word shall indicates a mandatory action, should an advisory action and may a permissive action. These terms are very important in reviewing a work zone accident to determine the appropriate seriousness of actions and placements of work zone safety equipment (IMSA, 1998). Work zone safety is of such critical importance that many states have doubled or tripled the fines for violations in work zone areas. During an investigation involving work zones, a blueprint should be obtained since all work zones are planned well in advance of the start of construction. To further complicate the investigation, workers in work zones are usually from several different independent contractors within the state or municipality. Evidence from Vehicles Evidence such as damage, principal direction of force, hair and blood speaks volumes on how the accident occurred. Usually, the vehicle will have been moved to a salvage yard, and the inspection of the vehicle will begin there. Before inspecting the vehicle, all appropriate approvals must be obtained as well as special approval if any parts will be removed from the vehicle for analysis.

7 Weather is crucial if subtle evidence such as dust marks, blood and hair or skin transfers are to be maintained. Cover the subject vehicle if it will be stored outside until the inspection can be performed. The vehicle inspection is a good example of documenting evidence through a still camera and video camera. When making a video, there should be no sound on the tape the video should strictly document the evidence without any description or narration. Still photographs should be taken of all four sides of the vehicle as well as the top and underside. This way, all damage can be illustrated when you perform the inspection. Depending on how many times the vehicle was moved, damage from the collision must be isolated from any damage caused by towing the vehicle. It is equally important to document undamaged areas of the vehicle as well as the damaged areas. Photographs, if done properly, can be used to determine the depth of crushed material. This process is known as photogrammetry. Although the process is widely accepted, it is not widely known how to perform the calculations. Photogrammetry can be simple or complex depending on the information needed from the photograph. The still camera must have a fixed focus rectilinear lens to photograph the side of the vehicle, and it must be at right angles to the side when determining crushed depth from the front of a vehicle. The lens should be level and at the height of the center of the mass of the vehicle pointing toward the center of the vehicle (Daley, 1986). The process is a simple mathematical scaling ratio calculation that multiplies a known unit of measurement in the photograph with a known unit of measurement of the subject part multiplied by the ratio to obtain the life size dimension. The photogrammetry method can be used to determine the depth of crushed damage to vehicles or the size of roadway evidence in a photograph. It is crucial to have the life size measurements of several objects in the photograph to determine roadway evidence dimensions. Photos that document the principal direction of force for each vehicle is crucial to understanding the before and after paths of the vehicles. It is also important to assist in determining the kinematics of the vehicle occupants and eventually the biomechanics and mechanism of injury. Film is inexpensive, and it should be used extensively for documenting any type of evidence. It is much easier to review a photograph than to visit the scene or the vehicle several times, if they are still in the condition they were in when you first inspected them. If you are able to record video or take still photographs while your complete inspection is performed, this enhances your credibility and documents your methodology. Besides, large-crush subtle evidence such as striations and paint transfers should be included in your pictorial documentation. Documenting evidence of seatbelt use is crucial when analyzing and investigating an accident involving specific types of injuries. All planes (sides) of the vehicle should be photographed at an acute and linear position to the plane. Overhead photographic documentation can be done by mounting the photograph on a PVC pole with a mechanism to snap the shutter. This overhead method of photography can be crucial if you need to determine the speed of a vehicle at impact from damage (crush information). Anytime vehicle damage is the major method in analyzing the collision, the properties of metal parts must be considered. The stiffness of metals related to motor vehicle collisions is an indication of the resistance of a metal at a given angle to permanent deformation or crush. Restitution of a metal is the rebound relating to the angle and force of impact. Both of these values are necessary if an accurate an unbiased investigation and reconstruction are to be performed. Any results, conclusions or opinions without considering stiffness and restitution would be highly suspect at best, especially in low-speed collisions. The undercarriage of vehicles can tell the angle of departure from the initial impact if undercarriage damage is compared to roadway surface gouges or scratches. Paint transfers can be very subtle or very obvious depending on the angle and speed at collision. Paint transfers occur when two surfaces with different color paint are forced together, and friction creates heat to temporarily melt the paint causing transfer. Some investigators and reconstructionists claim that the thinning of sheet metal due to rust decreases the energy absorption of the metal and, consequently, more damage occurs at the same speed than with a vehicle with no rust. While this may sound logical and it is the less absorption from rust is negligible and at this time cannot be quantified. Most investigators and reconstructionists will agree that a severely rusted vehicle will incur a greater amount of damage at the same speed then a vehicle with no rust damage. Another important area related to vehicle damage includes the matching of roadway scrapes, gouges and scratches with the undercarriage of the vehicle. This is especially important when one or more vehicle rolled over either before or as a result of the impact. There is also specific damage to vehicles other than contact between the vehicles themselves. Vehicles can leave the roadway and strike roadway signs, traffic signal posts, wooden poles, trees or culverts, and each of these impacts usually leaves a distinctive damage profile, which aids in identifying the dynamics of the vehicles. The type of damage concerned with absorbing energy and speed determination comes from contact damage as opposed to induced damage. Contact damage is the damage directly caused from contact between two objects, and induced damage is a result of contact damage, i.e. breaking of the bottom of the windshield from the hood displaced rearward. Wheel rims and tires can reveal important clues as to how the accident occurred. Tires can blowout slowly or quickly depending on the object they strike. Wheel rims can be bent from impacts with curbs, potholes or other objects. When tires and wheels are damaged, a thorough investigation should reveal the cause and also the effect on the vehicle itself. For example, if a vehicle leaves the roadway and the driver attempts to return to the roadway, the inside edge of the tire will usually have scrape marks if the drop-off of the pavement is approximately four inches or greater. Fluid leaks on the roadway can tell a story of initial impact and after-impact travel as well as point of rest. Fluid naturally seeks the lowest point and will usually collect in the lowest point of the roadway. This should not be considered a point of rest. Vehicle lighting can be crucial when investigating left or right turning vehicles and nighttime accidents. Headlights or turn signals that have one or two filacontinued on page 8 TransActions 7

8 Handling Accident Investigations continued from page 7 ments can be used to determine what is called cold shock or hot shock. If a lamp is illuminated, the filaments can reach temperatures as high as 2300 ºF. In this condition, if a severe force were applied, the laws of physics would dictate that the filaments would move or bend in the direction of this force. If the glass bulb breaks, the filaments will show signs of oxidation when it comes in contact with air Limpert, 1989). When inspecting a vehicle, the lights must not be turned on since doing so before inspection and documentation will destroy this type of evidence. If you decide to move the lamps, special documentation and orientation up or down must be maintained. It is possible that if the glass is broken when the filament is hot, glass pieces will melt and adhere to the filaments wires. It should be noted that not all lamps and bulbs have the types of filaments the can be analyzed in this manner. Vehicle interiors must also be inspected. Usually, evidence of the interior of vehicles consists of occupant movements and mechanisms of injury. Occupants always travel toward the impact or forward. If the impact is offset by 30 degrees from the centerline of the vehicle, the occupants will move toward this 30- degree impact. Windshields can become cracked from various objects such as from unbelted individuals, or in days past, from occupants who only used a lap belt, which allowed the upper torso to rotate forward. Windshields are now made so that they do not break into many pieces and seriously injure the occupant. They are designed to shatter and stay in one piece. Side windows are not designed the same way. Shattered glass from side windows can indicate whether the force came from inside or outside the vehicle. Instrument panels or dashboards used to be very dangerous and produced significant injuries at lower speeds than today s designs. Today s dashboards and steering wheels are padded, and airbags have been designed to prevent the occupant from reaching these structures. The force is a result of the acceleration or speed of an object and its mass. This force increases or decreases depending on the time the occupants come to a stop. Contact between vehicles usually occurs 8 NAOSH Week 2007 Special Edition over a time period of 100 ms, which is the equivalent to 1/10 of 1 second. Airbags usually deploy in 20 to 30 ms, which is necessary to stop the forward movement of occupants. Seatbelts can be analyzed for use or nonuse by the occupant. The seatbelts that have been used usually will show marks on the latching system, stretching or loading of the belt fabric (Rivers, 2001). Injuries compatible with extreme forward displacement are usually caused by the nonuse of seatbelts. Lower surfaces, such as underneath the dashboards, are another source of serious injury for the unbelted individual. The typical injuries include fractures of the tibia, fibula, femur or hip. An investigation of the area is needed to match the injuries to the occupant. This type of investigation is most useful when none of the occupants admit driving, and when alcohol or drugs may have been involved. Hair, blood, skin tissues and injury patterns tell a story as to the seated position of occupants. The inspection should determine distances to the dashboard and steering wheel from the suspected seating position. This information is necessary in assessing seatbelts use. With the onset of airbags, injuries have been further reduced. Deployment of airbags can give an indication of the Delta V or the severity of impact. Airbags can deploy at various Delta V speeds usually more than 14 mph (Marsh, 1993). In impacts between 8 and 14 mph, the airbags may deploy. The direction of impact for proper deployment of the airbags is usually within a range of 30 degrees of either side of the vehicle s centerline. Seat cushions, seatbacks and headrests are very important when inspecting a vehicle. A properly positioned headrest can drastically reduce injuries from whiplash. Whiplash occurs when a rearend impact forces the torso of the occupant forward when the head and neck, still wanting to occupy the same space (inertia), remains stationary. The seatback also plays an important part in energy absorption as the torso is forced into the seatback and the stored energy is released, thus propelling the torso of the occupant forward. This force can at times be faster than the vehicle itself since it employs a slingshot effect. In side impacts, it is also important to inspect the glass fragments of the side windows as well as match up occupant injuries to the side door and the center console. Vehicle structures supporting the roof are usually identified as A, B and C posts beginning at the corners of the windshields and moving rearward towards the rear window. Useful information can be obtained from bumpers and their accompanying structure. Bumpers have thresholds where once surpassed, permanent damage will occur. All bumper systems are not equal and have different damage thresholds. Damage thresholds are much lower for barrier crash tests than in real-world, vehicle-to-vehicle impacts. This is because in barrier impacts, all energy is used to damage the crash-test vehicle and not the barrier, while in real-world impacts, both vehicles absorb energy from the impact. The structures of bumpers include bumper bars, bumper isolators, frame brackets and Styrofoam absorbers. Bumper isolators are small shock absorbers mounted horizontally behind the bumper; they are intended to absorb the energy from impacts before reaching the frame of the vehicle. By analyzing the distance of movement or collapse of the isolator, one can compare with tests to determine an approximate value of energy absorbed. With this information, an approximate impact speed can be determined. Of course, this procedure must be done for both vehicles for if only one vehicle is inspected, only half of the evidence has been analyzed. Styrofoam bumpers are made to be used once since these types of bumpers terminally deform when absorbing energy, whereas the isolator will usually return to its undamaged position if the impact has not surpassed the isolator s threshold. Occupant Protection & Movements The protection of occupants has been of great concern for many years in the automotive manufacturing industry. Lap seatbelts were originally available in the early 1960s, and since then, manufacturers have developed lap and shoulder belts, front and side airbags, crumple zones and energy-absorbing interior components. Occupants are not injured from speed; they are injured by stopping quickly, as when impacting a solid object. Seatbelts must be used in order to allow the occupant to ride down the impact. This term describes the lengthening of time the occupant decelerates. Without this ride-down

9 time, the occupant would sustain much more severe injuries at the same speeds. Seatbelt examination is crucial in any kinematics or biomechanical analysis of occupant injuries. Seatbelts are designed to stretch from the loading by the occupant, and signs of stretching become apparent. Stress marks can also be seen at the buckle and the retractor. The investigator should take special note when examining seat belt use to pull the retractor and examine the interior mechanical parts. In loading the seatbelts, the mechanical parts of the retractor will usually exhibit evidence of applied force. Also, seatbelt buckles and latches will exhibit stress marks on the webbing. Few cars have lap belts only; if they do, they are usually in the center rear seat. If a severe impact occurs, severe abdominal and interior organ injuries can occur from these forces. Child seats are another concern when inspecting the vehicle s interior. Child safety seats are usually installed using the seatbelts of the vehicle. Later-model vehicles have a system called a latch system. This system does not use the vehicle s seatbelts to install the child seat. Instead, the seat is installed using two attachments in the vehicle seat and the latch system belt supplied with the child safety seat. During an inspection, an investigator may find the seatbelt webbing torn in half. This can occur when the emergency personnel extricate the occupant or when the collision force is so great that the seatbelts simply give out. Evidence of the latter is where the ends of the seatbelt do not demonstrate a clear and clean cut as opposed to frayed ends. The connection of the seatbelt to the body of the vehicle is also of importance and should be thoroughly inspected for signs of stress, straining or displacement. Airbags are of primary importance for restricting forward movement of the occupant. The airbag deploys so quickly that when the occupant strikes it, the airbag starts to deflate. Airbags deploy at approximately 200 mph and can cause injuries such as abrasions, bloody noses and arm or wrist fractures, which can all help to determine the driver s position. For example, if a driver has both hands on top of the steering wheel when the airbag is deployed, the force of the airbag could move the hands and wrists violently into the upper windshield, cracking the windshield and breaking bones. There are special occupant safety restraints for specific purposes. A specific restraint for pregnant women, which allows for the safety of the fetus, recommends that the lap portion be placed at the lowest possible position on the pelvic girdle. If there is bruising on any other parts of the body, then the seatbelt was worn improperly. Another type of child seat restraint is a car bed for medically fragile infants and seatbelt vests for children who constantly attempt to get out of their child seat (NHSTA, 2000). Occupant movement is termed kinematics. Kinematics differs from biomechanics in that it studies motion exclusive of the influences of mass and force, while biomechanics is the science concerned with the action of forces on the living body (Williams & Wilkins, 1997). Newton s laws of physics applied to occupants state that occupants will move in the direction of the force. In other words, if the collision is to the right front corner of the vehicle, all the occupants will move in that direction. When determining injury patterns and seating positions, a right front impact may allow the driver to slip out of the shoulder strap (over the left shoulder) and be restrained only by the lap belt. If the collision is severe enough, it may appear to the untrained investigator that only a lap belt was in use. Conversely, the right front passenger would be restrained by both the shoulder strap (over the right shoulder) and a lap belt. Seatbelts are important when the vehicle spins or rolls over after the collision, since seatbelts are designed to hold the occupants in place. Movement of the occupants during a collision may force them to be out of position; if the airbag is deployed, it can strike the occupant and produce injuries. This is the main reason airbags have precise sensors related to the Delta V severity and principal direction of force of the impact. A review of human anatomy and the medical records of all injured occupants will give a good indication of the seating positions and if seatbelts or airbags were in use. An occupant submarining under a lap belt that was too loose usually causes lower-extremity injuries such as fractures to the tibia, fibula and femur. Injuries to the upper extremities, such as the ulna, radius and humerus, usually indicate a side impact and airbag deployment in which the arms are on top of the steering wheel and out of position of secondary impact. Upper-extremity injuries alone cannot be used to determine whether seatbelts were in use. Spinal injuries are usually signs of rear impacts. In a whiplash-like movement, the cervical spine is under stress by the difference in movement and velocity between the torso and the head/ neck complex. The thoracic and lumbar spine can also be affected by the bounce or rebound of the seatback possessing stored energy from the compression of the torso. When crash testing for injury determination and probability, human subjects cannot be used past a point of injury threshold. Anthropomorphic dummies, which are designed to be as humanlike as possible, are used. It is acknowledged in the scientific and biomechanical community that anthropomorphic dummies are an adequate substitute, but they still do not replicate the human body or movement. Given this difference, many investigators/reconstructionists are highly skeptical when others attempt to equate movement and forces of the anthropomorphic dummy to the human form. Cadavers are used in research, but the same problem exists as with anthropomorphic dummies. Delta V Measurements Determination of the severity of the collision is of primary importance in determining speed and probability of injury. One of the most widely used and misunderstood numerical ratings of injury severity is the Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS). This system was developed by three organizations between 1969 and 1971 the American Medical Association, Society Automotive of Engineers and American Association for Automotive Medicine (Hyde, 1992). The theory and necessity for such a rating is understood, but the apparent simplistic approach does not compare with a high degree of accuracy. Since its inception, AIS has changed several times. There are other groups and ratings, but to accurately determine the probability of injury from a specific collision and specific Delta V, the scales are of little value. The scales were designed to measure the threat to life. For example, two broken legs would not be considered a serious threat to life, as would a punctured stomach or intestine. Furthermore, the scale allows only for the most serious injury rather than a group of injuries that together could be greater than the most serious injury in terms of threat to life. continued on page 10 TransActions 9

10 Handling Accident Investigations continued from page 9 This is not to say that these data are worthless, but if one uses this to determine the probability of injury related to damage and severity of collisions, one must be cautious in reaching any scientific conclusion. Injury scaling is a complex process that is further complicated by the fact that all doctors do not agree with certain injuries representing a scale of threat to life. Delta V is only as good as the scientific analysis behind it. If the time difference of two impacts were compared to the exact impact speed for the same two impacts, the impact with the shortest time would have a higher probability of injury to its occupants. Two-Wheel Vehicles & Pedestrians Two-wheel vehicles consist of bicycles and motorcycles. Both must be thoroughly investigated since they are quite different in their use and dynamics. Motorcycles and bicycles are known as articulated vehicles such as semitractor-trailers. Motorcycles come in various sizes and shapes, which include semicustom or custom (choppers). Motorcycles can be stopped by applying the rear brake, which is usually activated by a foot pedal, and the front brake, which is activated by a hand-pressure-activated brake on the handlebars. The novice motorcycle operator will usually only activate the rear brake in emergency action, but the experienced rider will activate both the front and rear brakes. The most efficient manner of braking with a motorcycle is by applying both brakes at the threshold of lockup. In other words, prior to either wheel locking. This maneuver takes some practice and is usually accomplished by experienced riders. The reason for modulating the front and rear brakes is to take advantage of available roadway friction. If the front brake is applied by itself, the rear of the motorcycle, since it is articulated, may attempt to swing around to either side, much like the jackknifing of semitractor-trailers. On newer, more expensive motorcycles, one or both of the brakes are of the antilock braking system (ABS)-type. This means that the operator does not have to find the threshold of lockup but can simply jam the ABS brakes and the brake system will modulate the brake for the most efficient braking. When investigating motorcycle accidents, tire marks or deceleration marks are important and must be interpreted correctly. If the motorcycle is modulating during braking, the braking efficiency could be slightly more than 100%, but if the rear brake only is used, the braking efficiency is approximately 40%. These percentages are divided 60% for the front wheel braking and 40% for the rear wheel braking. The 60% for the front wheel is due to the fact that during braking, weight shift transfers the weight to the front wheel, much like a passenger vehicle where the front end dips during braking (Baxter, 1993). One must be cautious in identifying deceleration or skid marks from motorcycles since the rear braking mark will usually be long and wavy because the motorcycle will weave back and forth during deceleration. If the rear brake is locked while the front brake is modulating, the rear brake deceleration marks will be more or less be straight (Baxter, 1993). If a motorcycle operator believes that FIGURE 1 Speed Estimate from Crush e= coefficient of restitution; bounce; ec is from car to car test, eb is from barrier test; Vs=separation-rebound; Vc=closing-impact Vc and Vs for car to car or Barrier; k= stiffness of specific vehicle, A and B values BES= barrier equivalent velocity,fps= impact speed into flat rigid barrier to cause same amount of crush damage profile as seen in the case vehicle being examined; *= Energy, ft lbs, both cars from crush m2= mass of vehicle #2, lb-sec²/ft, W/g; m1= mass of vehicle #1, lb-sec²/ft, W/g C1,C2,etc = crush measurements, inches E = energy of displacement (crush) relative to spring constant, inch lbs, unless shown * per car X =distance of centroid of damage from exterior surface of the vehicle area= area of crush in sq inches, width x depth or width x ave. crush (1+tan 2 s)= PDOF, direction of force if not perpendicular to the car, not to exceed 2 or 45 degrees ÎV = Change in velocity over time, fps, crush dissipated from barrier tests for losric can be impact speed for non losric b1= Slope of speed vs. crush (change of Delta V per inch of crush) inch sec/inch bo = inch /sec max barrier velocity w/o permanent crush-y intercept; assumed (not tested) the no damage threshold to be 5mph (88 inch/sec) with no rebound A = constant stiffness coefficient lb/inch amount of resistance of the car surface to any damage B = constant stiffness coefficient lb/inch² spring stiff. Resistance to further permanent crush once damage has begun and the force has overcome the stiffness value of A G = constant stiffness coefficient lb energy dissipated w/o doing damage g = gravity 32.2 fps² ; W=Weight lbs; wd= width of damage inches C ave= average crush of test vehicle barrier impact inches 10 NAOSH Week 2007 Special Edition

11 s/he cannot stop in time, s/he will attempt to lay down the motorcycle in an effort to avoid impact with a hard object. Scrapes, gouges and scratch marks on the roadway should be matched with similar marks on the motorcycle. During the examination of the motorcycle, the rear tire, if braked, will show a patch on the tire, which is caused by the locked tire sliding along the roadway. If the front brake is modulated, you would expect to see what is described as speckling. Small stones that create white marks on the outer circumference of the tire can identify speckling. These white marks are caused by small stones on the roadway, which during modulated braking are caught between the roadway and the tire. Another area to consider in motorcycle accidents or bicycles accidents is roadway edge drop-offs. Drop-offs exceeding approximately two inches create a serious hazard for both bicycles and motorcycles due to the small sidewall of the tires. This size of drop-offs will usually have little effect on a motor vehicle tire. If a motorcycle impacts into the side of the vehicle or other stiff object, you may be able to estimate the impact speed from the damage to the motorcycle. In tests done with motorcycles, the change in wheelbase can be used to approximate the speed, i.e. four inches of change in wheelbase equals approximately 20 mph (Baxter, 1993). The investigator should keep in mind that this is an estimate, and any reference tests must come as close to replicating the collision as possible. In nighttime accidents, one may find that the motor vehicle operator misidentifies a motorcycle as another motor vehicle with one headlamp out and consequently misjudges the width of the vehicle especially when the motorcycle is turning. State and federal laws regulate the operation and equipment of motorcycles, and a thorough check of these regulations will assist in the investigation and reconstruction. Bicycles are similar to motorcycles in that they are two-wheel articulated vehicles. Naturally, bicycles cannot reach the same speeds or possess the same force as a motorcycle, and the bicycle rider, unless struck by a car, usually has less severe injuries. Bicycles, like all mechanical devices, must be maintained and meet standards and regulations. On a multiple-speed bicycle, there may be a front and rear derailleur. The derailleur is used to move the bicycle chain from Speed from YAW / Critical curve S= 3.86 (R f +-m) R=(Chord²/(8xM)+M/2) M= Middle ordinate S = Speed from a Vault 2.74xD Dx cos Ax sin A+-(Hx cos one gear to the next. If the derailleur is not properly adjusted, it could come off the gear sprocket, stop the wheel and suddenly cause the rider to be propelled to the ground (Green, 1992). Bicycles, especially multiple-speed bicycles, are more complicated than most people realize. During an investigation, the investigator must consult all regulations and evaluate any maintenance problems. Bicycle accident investigation and reconstruction are similar to motorcycle and pedestrian accidents. Pedestrian accidents usually carry the most severe injuries relative to the impact speed. The striking vehicle must be checked for any evidence such as blood, scrapes or clothing patterns such as jeans. By searching for this type of evidence, the investigator will be able to determine the dynamics and trajectory of the pedestrian. Depending on the geometry of the front of the vehicle, the pedestrian can either be forced to the ground or sliced in two. The pedestrian may also be thrown onto the hood and carried some distance before falling to the ground. There are several different trajectory patterns that pedestrians may take, and a review of subject references can distinguish between the types and suggest methods 2 FIGURE 2 A) Max Offtracking Rrear= R²front - L²wb Rrear = rk-r3 Conservation of Momentum Impact with Stationary Vehicle V1 = V3 + (W2 x V4) W1 of determining the approximate speeds of the vehicle. One type of speed determination is made from the distance the pedestrian comes to rest after the initial impact. The distance could be from the pedestrian rolling or from being thrown through the air, but the methods must be determined. The formulas used to determine the speed of the vehicle from deceleration or skid marks can be used for any pedestrian rolling or sliding after impact to final rest. In tests performed with anthropomorphic dummies, the roadway coefficient of friction for a sliding or rolling pedestrian is approximately.7 to.10. These measures will vary depending on the surface, such as concrete or a sandy beach. Additional evidence can be gathered by examining the medical records to determine injury patterns. For example, a leg injury equal to the height of the bumper of the vehicle would indicate the direction the pedestrian was walking since the leg closest to the bumper is struck first and usually exhibits a severe break. Also, determining the lateral distance from the initial impact to the point at which the continued on page 12 TransActions 11

12 Handling Accident Investigations continued from page 11 pedestrian strikes the hood or the windshield will also give an indication of the direction or path of the pedestrian. Examining the pedestrian s shoes and soles may hold clues as to which foot the pedestrian had planted and a more exacting point of impact. Most pedestrian impacts have contact with the hood or with the windshield of the striking vehicle. Some investigators believe that the higher the pedestrian impacts the windshield, the better you can tell the speed of the vehicle at impact. This is very speculative at best since pedestrians come in all heights and weights, which affect the trajectory. Dents to the hood or fenders should be matched with the injuries of the Vehicle Examination Date Model Year Plate# Vin# Case# Name pedestrian. This way, the dynamics of the impact can be evaluated. With most pedestrian impacts, the subject of whether the pedestrian was walking or running is critical. There are several studies and efforts to attempt to clarify and quantify this elusive value. Some investigators strictly use studies or reference material without any consideration to replicating the subject pedestrian with the tested pedestrian. Some of the larger studies, especially with children, have simply marked off distances and have told the children to run as fast as they can. Of course, not all pedestrians who are children run as fast as they can prior to impacts. A pedestrian may carry an object while running toward the street. This type of pedestrian cannot be equated with a pedestrian simply running as fast as they can. Ethics & Testimony Ethics and testimony are very important in establishing the reputation of the investigator or reconstructionist. Ethics refers to professionalism and to knowing and doing what is professionally right or wrong. This does not mean that right or wrong refers to the criminal definitions but more to a moral definition. One of the most important aspects is to eliminate any personal bias in your conclusions. Base the investigation and reconstruction on the evidence you see or hear. Interpretation of the physical evidence and witness testimony are the most important factors to rely on. Interpretation of evidence is a learned duty that must be dealt with professionally and accurately. If one is not trained for proper interpretation, an opinion will be false and misleading. During an investigation, measurements and calculations will be used. The meas- Damage Record Passengers# Passengers weight Curb weight Gross weight Brake Pedal stuck? Steering Wheel Stuck? Speedometer Reading Wheels & Tires (Y/N) Flat Hole Stuck Rim Bent Off Rim RF LF RR LR Lamps& Bulbs ( Broken Y/N) Headlights Turnlamps Brakelamps Front-left, right Rear-left, right Seat Belts used? (Y/N) Date Model Year Plate# Vin# Case# Name Curb weight Approximate load Total weight Induced Damage=xxxxxxx Contact Damage=/////// Locked Wheel= {} Wheel Base = Track Front= Rear= Overhang Front+ Rear= Vehicle Length Overall= Length of Contact Damage= Depth of Contact Damage= C1= C2= C3= C4= C5= C6= (at 6 point) 1 thru 15 topside damage - 16 undercarriage damage S= severe M= moderate L= light Remarks: Remarks: 12 NAOSH Week 2007 Special Edition

13 urements and calculations must be accurate and expressed appropriately such as in terms of approximately or at least, etc. Cheating or dishonesty in measurements and calculations will not only ruin your credibility but can easily be found out by the opposing expert. When referring to opposing experts or witnesses, refrain from disparaging remarks and always treat the evidence or contrary opinions with honesty and decency. Avoid puffery and misleading statements in all your activities, including any opinion reports. Some investigations or reconstructions will undoubtedly include fatal injury cases. When working on these types of cases, especially autopsy photographs, consider your words carefully since the family or victims will likely become emotional reliving the event through your report and testimony. Constantly working on cases takes a physical and mental toll on the investigator. It is healthy to take a break from stressful work so that your perspective will not be skewed and an incorrect interpretation will find its way in your analysis. Accident investigation and reconstruction is just as much of an art as a science since all the science in the world will not lead you to an appropriate opinion if you do not artfully examine and consider the evidence and science involved. Accident investigation and reconstruction related to motor vehicles are not taught during a regular curriculum in engineering schools. Therefore, the art of interpretation and evidence gathering must be acquired from a different source. At best, college curriculum may teach you the science, but what you are really using is applied science. Professional investigators know when they must do research or ask for help if they are unsure of their findings. An office library with books and articles relevant to the investigator s expertise should be used to the greatest extent. Additional and continuing education is also of primary importance since the art and science change rapidly. It is said and generally accepted that an intelligent person never stops learning, and an ego believes it has learned everything. If after you have just begun your investigation it is apparent the results are not in your favor, you should advise the person you report to immediately so that neither of you will waste your time. Testimony can be either at a deposition or at a trial. In either case, preparation for both must be done so that you are familiar with all aspects of the subject matter. During testimony at a deposition, you are required to answer questions posed to you and you are not required to expound on the answers. This is because the opposition attorney is usually the only one asking you questions in an effort to determine your credibility, accuracy and appearance. Usually, your client will refrain from asking questions unless s/he feels the need to correct or rehabilitate some of your answers. During a trial, both your client under direct and the opposing attorney under cross-examination will question you. If you find the opposing attorney is mischaracterizing your testimony, you should expand on your answer so that the jury will have no doubt as to what you are saying. Testifying to a jury is much like telling a story to children or teaching a group of adults. Since most of your opinion is based in science and may be overly complicated, certain terms should be explained to jury. Trial testimony can usually be supplemented with video presentations or computer animations. Some more complicated procedures and methods are usually best presented to a jury in these formats. The downside of video presentations and computer animations is that they may not always be admissible. The admissibility is with the judge, and it is usually based on simple and replicate video and computer animations. Over the years, I have used both and found that the simpler the presentation, the easier it is to be admitted at trial as well as understood by the jury. Formulas & Mathematics Formulas and mathematics are the basis of any investigation or reconstruction. There are approximately 200+ formulas used by the investigator and reconstructionist. Formulas are based on physics, mechanics and mathematics. Formulas are not created; they are developed and derived from known science. The analysis of accidents must also use various sources such as weather, vision and lighting, pertinent regulations and specific research. One of the most used resources for motor vehicle accidents and occupant injuries involves analysis of crash testing data. Over the years, much data has been developed, but the investigator must locate the data and crash test that most closely replicate the subject investigation. The crash test may not exactly replicate the subject investigation; if not, the opinion or conclusions must state this so that the investigator would not be accused of misrepresentation or misuse of data. Most professionals perform some research and belong to professional organizations within their area of interest and can discuss situations or problems with peers. There are too many formulas to list all of them here, but this discussion will examine various groups of formulas and list some at the end. Formulas using linear motion or constant velocity deal with time and distance. These formulas are used to determine constant velocity or time over a specific distance. For example, if you want to know the time it will take to travel 100 ft at a velocity of 10 ft per second, you would simply divide the 100 ft by 10 and arrive at 10 seconds. This is an oversimplification, but it gives the general idea. Acceleration and deceleration can also be determined and are of value when attempting to calculate the speed of the vehicle at impact or the time and speed of an accelerating vehicle to reach a point of impact. One of the most used groups of formulas deals with conservation of linear momentum. The rule behind conservation of linear momentum states that momentum, which is weight times velocity, is conserved in any impact between two objects. It is crucial to know the weights of both objects, the point of impact, the distances from the point of impact to final rest and the coefficient of friction of the roadway. One of the most common errors on the part of the investigator/reconstructionist is not using the correct formula once the evidence and dynamics of the collision are determined. Using the correct formula derived from a proper source is crucial for accurate results. Rear-end impacts may seem to be very straightforward or simple, especially when there appears to be no damage, but this analysis is one of the most complicated and, therefore, needs exacting analysis and calculations. The yaw or critical speed formula is the speed at the beginning of the yaw marks or the maximum speed of the roadway curve. Knowing the maximum curve speed, i.e. 50 mph max curve speed, one can then state that the vehicle exceeded 50 mph, but the top speed is unknown. This is sufficient given that the speed limit of the curve is probably 35 mph or less. continued on page 14 TransActions 13

14 Handling Accident Investigations continued from page 13 Maximum offtracking is the distance difference from the rear axel and the drive axels of a semi tractor-trailer. This calculation is important when the semi rolls over a curb and strikes a pedestrian standing on the curb. The speed from vault is to determine the speed a vehicle obtained prior to leaving the ground and vaulting through the air to the final rest position. This is important when a single vehicle leaves the roadway on its own due to excessive speed. The momentum formula is used for a linear impact with a stopped vehicle. The calculations for angular impacts, i.e. intersections of 90º, are more complicated since both vehicles speed after impact must be determined as well as the pre- and postimpact angles in relation to each vehicle. If a vehicle skidded prior to impact, the energy expended in skidding must be combined with the COM values. Other fall, vault and flip formulas used are as follows: 7-1 is for a fall with a grade at takeoff; 7-2 is for a fall, flip and vault using an angle at takeoff; 7-3 is to determine the minimum takeoff angle for flips and vaults 7-4 is for minimum velocity at takeoff with an assumed 45º angle 7.2 V = dx 7.1 V = dx 7.3 A( ) =.5x cos 7.4 V =dx g 2x(dxG - h) g 2xcosAx(dx sina - hcosa) h ] 2 2 ( d + h ) g d - h Investigation & Reconstruction Forms Forms play an important part in any scientific procedure or method. Forms can be simple or complicated depending on the subject investigation. One of the more complicated issues needing documentation is damage measurement. To begin with, the principal direction of force of all vehicles must be determined. Then the collision damage classification is chosen. The collision deformation classification is an alphanumerical system used by all investigators and reconstructionists to 14 NAOSH Week 2007 Special Edition - 1 [ maintain consistency when documenting damage(society of Automotive Engineers, 1980). The classification is a seven-character code. The first two represent the force direction related to a time clock, the third is a code representing the area of damage in relation to the sides, top and bottom of the vehicle, the fourth represents the damage in a longitudinal or lateral area, the fifth represents specific sections both vertical and lateral of the damage indicated in the fourth character, the sixth character represents the type of damage (wide, narrow, rollover), and the seventh and final character is the extent of permanent damage to a given area of the vehicle. This evaluation is used to input into several different computer programs to determine the severity of impact and extrapolate to the approximate speed prior to collision. Forms can be most valuable when you consider the many items that can be forgotten and not recorded. One of the main purposes of forms such as those on pg. 10 (Andrews, 1995) is that you can prepare the forms in your office when you are not rushed, as with a vehicle or roadway inspection and, therefore, can list all the data that should be recorded during a vehicle or scene inspection. Hopefully, this way you will not forget crucial data. One of the most important forms is the data needed to perform a scale diagram after you leave the scene. The rough diagram is very important should someone need to return to the scene and locate the physical evidence. If the scene data and the scale diagram are not accurate, this physical evidence may be lost forever and will jeopardize your case. Most scale diagrams are constructed in either coordinate or triangulation procedures. These are the easiest and most accurate, given the time constraints and pressures at the scene. The coordinate method is normally used for city roadways, and triangulation is usually used for rural areas. Coordination uses two measurements, while triangulation uses three for each spot or location of the physical evidence. The forms on pg. 10 are a simple example. You can develop and use your own forms. Forms are only as good as the design and use of the investigator or reconstructionist. References Andrews, D.R. (1995). Forensic workbook for vehicle accidents. Baker, J.S. (1986). Traffic accident investigation manual. Northwestern University Traffic Institute. Baxter, A. (1993). Motorcycle accident investigation. IPTM. Daily, J. (1986). Fundamentals of accident reconstruction. University North Florida. Green, J.M. (1992). Bicycle accident reconstruction. Lawyers & Judges Publications. Hyde, A.S. (1992). Crash injuries: How & why they happen. HAI. International Municipal Signal Association. (1993). Signs & markings study guide. International Municipal Signal Association. (1997). Traffic signals study guide. International Municipal Signal Association. (1998). Work zone traffic control safety. Limpert, R. (1989). Motor vehicle accident reconstruction and cause analysis. Miche Co. Marsh, J.C. IV. (1993). Supplemental airbag systems: Consumer education and experience. # Society of Auto Engineers. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (2000). Standardized child passenger safety training program manual. Washington, DC: Author. Rivers, R.W. (2001). Seat belt & airbag systems manual. IPTM. Society of Auto Engineers. (1980). Collision deformation classification. J224 MAR U.S. Department of Transportation and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Traffic safety facts Washington, DC: Author. Williams & Wilkins. (1997). Stedman s Medical Dictionary for Health Professionals. Dennis Andrews, Ph.D., works in safety engineering and injury biomechanics. As a consultant with 30 years experience, Andrews has been asked to provide expert witness testimony related to all types of injuries. He can be reached at Accident & Safety Consultants in Cherry Hill, NJ; phone (856) ; Learn more about ASSE s Practices Specialties. Visit

15 Transportation & Food Distribution Security By Nancy J. Bendickson, CSP, ARM, ALCM The nation s food products are susceptible to tampering or other malicious, criminal or terrorist acts. Threats to the food supply are very plausible. Many Transportation Practice Specialty members are involved in moving food from farm to processor or from processor to retail stores. Ensuring safe food within the processing plant, during transportation, in storage and at retail is vital to the protection of public health. This article examines the risks, and discusses action to be taken to prevent intentional attack on the food supply as outlined in U.S. Dept. of Agriculture s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) Food Safety and Security Guidelines for Transportation of Meat, Poultry, and Egg Products and U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition s Guidance for Industry Food Producers, Processors and Transporters: Food Security Preventative Measures. Food is susceptible to intentional or unintentional contamination from various physical, chemical, biological or radiological agents. Those responsible for transportation and delivery should implement security measures to ensure the safety of products throughout the farm-to-table food system. Many transportation companies have developed a security plan to address HazMat transportation. If your company handles food products or food ingredients, you should develop a plan to address food security risks as well. Food Security Plan Assess Vulnerabilities Identify a food protection management team and assign a leader to verify that required actions are effective and implemented. Develop a comprehensive transportation security plan and assess vulnerabilities using a recognized threat/risk/vulnerability model. A flow diagram from the point of origin to final destination, including all shipping modes/routes, is a helpful tool in this assessment. Identify points of vulnerability where the potential for intentional adulteration or contamination to occur during the transportation and distribution operations exists. Identify potential biological, chemical and physical hazards. Determine whether control is possible at the point(s) of hazard and what is the most effective point to exert control. If control points are identified, determine the method, frequency and limit that must be met. This will determine where and how often monitoring and verification of limits should occur and what corrective and preventive actions should be taken. Develop & Implement Procedures Implement security measures at each point to ensure protection of products from time of shipment through delivery. Create a system to identify and track the product at any time during transportation and distribution. Food establishment operators should develop a delivery schedule and not accept unscheduled deliveries or drivers, and must investigate missing or delayed shipments. Contracted transporters (maritime, air, ground or rail) and storage/warehouse sites need to have a security program in effect. Include procedures for the immediate recall of adulterated products from trade or consumer channels. Establish a system to track salvaged, reworked and returned products. Include procedures for handling threats to and actual cases of product tampering. Establish an evacuation plan for the facility. Include procedures for safe handling and disposal of contaminated products. Identify where and how to separate suspect products. Document condition of product and packaging upon receipt at destination. Establish policy/procedure for rejecting packages and products that are not acceptable, cannot be verified against shipping papers or contain unacceptable changes to shipping documents. A monitoring and recordkeeping system is needed to document actions taken. Establish procedures/policy for allowing outside transportation employees (e.g., rail crew, truckers, etc.) to enter a facility and monitor their activities while on your property. Maintain the food security plan in a safe location and share on a need to know basis. A food establishment operator should have emergency operation contacts in place, a notification procedure developed and have a media communication plan ready. The operator will need to train and test the plan. Employees must be screened and educated about food security methods. Guidance for Specific Modes of Transportation On average, 200 billion metric tons of food are shipped internationally each year; 60 percent by sea, 35 percent by land and five percent by air. Domestically, most food products are shipped by ground transportation truck and rail. The food delivery system is intermodal in nature and each mode of transportation has unique security issues. The guidance reviewed covers aviation, truck and marcontinued on page 16 TransActions 15

16 Transportation & Food Distribution Security continued from page 15 itime. However, let s first review some general rules for all modes. Contracted shippers and consignees should have security measures in place to ensure product integrity and traceability and should verify that they are meeting contractual security obligations. Basic security measures should include: Physical boundaries of facility or terminal are secure. Background checks are conducted for all potential employees at shipping, trucking and drayage companies. Positive identification system is in place for all employees. Security training and awareness program is conducted for all employees on how to prevent, detect and report suspicious activity. System is in place to track movement of products and truck, trailer and containers/vessels. Recordkeeping system is in place to document chain-of-custody; this aids in product tracing. System to detect tampering and radiological, biological and chemical agents in shipping containers should be in place. Policies and procedures are established for handling suspicious products. Steps are taken to ensure that all containers are properly secured at all times when held in storage yards. Aviation Although fewer food products are transported by air than other modes, it is still critical to ensure the security of these products when air is the mode of transportation used. Check all trucks entering a terminal facility. Trucks carrying meat, poultry and egg products should have seal logbooks and the seals examined and verified. Flow Diagram for Food Product Transportation Points in Commerce Plant Truck Origination Port Destination Port Truck Warehouse Truck Restaurant/ Consumer 16 NAOSH Week 2007 Special Edition Inspect containers arriving at the terminal for loading before admitting them to the terminal. Immediately report suspicious or inconsistent servicing of a container to terminal security. Design internal and external packaging so customers will be able to determine whether the product was tampered with and can immediately notify the food operation establishment. Contact information should be included in the packaging. Truck It is estimated that 21 million trucks transport products across the U.S. each day. Keeping containers secure is a huge endeavor since so many opportunities for tampering may exist. Develop and implement procedures for drivers to ensure security of the truck, trailer or container when stopping along the delivery route for meals, gas, repairs or rest. Transportation equipment should be designed and built to make locking and sealing easy and to permit inspection. Examine trailer doors to ensure that the trailer can be secured. Keep empty trailers locked at all times. Check product periodically during transit to ensure temperature is proper and that integrity of packaging is intact. Distributors and transporters should have emergency action plans that include notification of federal/state/local authorities, breakdown and reporting of suspicious activity. Train drivers on security precautions while enroute (e.g., no hitchhikers, do not discuss nature of cargo at stops, be aware of surroundings, lock truck, trailer or container when unattended and avoid low-lit areas). Train drivers to report unusual situations, such as being followed, to appropriate authorities. Develop procedures to follow when reefer boxes or trailers are found unlocked. Deter hijacking of cargo by keeping track of trucks. Ensure that hours-of-service logs are maintained and provide trucks with communication and tracking equipment. Hold drivers accountable for ensuring that security measures are taken to prevent contamination of food products like meat, poultry, eggs and produce while these products are under their control. Rail Unsecured containers can be easy targets for tampering. Rail transportation must address this vulnerability. Employ measures to secure loaded and empty containers from tampering when being stored at the trainyard or on a rail siding for any length of time. Inspect locks/seals on boxcars at pull and place operations. Review shipping documents upon arrival at trainyard and before the train engineer leaves. Inspect integrity of seals upon arrival and before departure of the load. Dedicate boxcars for food products only to reduce chance for contamination. Maritime Ports are vulnerable due to their size, accessibility by water and land, location in metropolitan areas and quantity of products moving through them. Approximately 80 percent of U.S. imports arrive via American seaports, yet U.S. Customs physically inspects only a fraction of all containers; the remainder are electronically screened. Therefore, additional security measures are necessary for products shipped by sea. Check all trucks entering a terminal facility. Trucks carrying meat, poultry and egg products should be sealed, drivers should have seal logbooks and the seals should be verified. Seals should be removed in the presence of terminal personnel so they can verify seal number and its integrity. Report suspicious or inconsistent servicing of a customer container to terminal security immediately. Supervise opening of ship hatches. When unloading product from seagoing vessels, inspect seals for evidence of tampering. A documentation system should be in place. Document cutting of seals (e.g., when seal is cut for inspection by government official). Shipping line agents should provide importers and customs brokers with a

17 record of vessel discharge and checks at discharge and in transit. Establish policy and procedures to download reefer electronic information during inspection (this will allow terminal personnel to be alerted for anomalies). Establish a reporting system when discharging of any product looks suspicious or the product shows evidence of tampering. Lock the terminal facility during meal breaks and at night. Close facility doors immediately after the truck/trailer pulls away from the dock. Effective Dec. 11, 2003, food importers are required to provide FDA with advance notice of human and animal food shipments imported or offered for import. This allows FDA to know, in advance, when specific food shipments will be arriving at U.S. ports of entry and what those shipments will contain. With this advance information, FDA, working with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, can more effectively target inspections and ensure the safety of imported foods. Prior notice must be received and confirmed electronically by FDA no more than five days before arrival and, as specified by the mode of transportation below, no fewer than: 1) two hours before arrival by land by road; 2) four hours before arrival by air or by land or by rail; 3) eight hours before arrival by water; 4) time consistent with the timeframe established for the mode of transportation for an article of food carried by or otherwise accompanying an individual if it is subject to prior notice. (The food must be accompanied by the FDA confirmation.) In addition, prior notice must be received and confirmed electronically by FDA before food is mailed by international mail. (The parcel must be accompanied by confirmation of FDA receipt of prior notice.) Protecting the nation s food distribution network is essential to homeland security. The issue of food security within transportation is critical. Transportation entities must develop security plans to reduce the potential for product tampering, adulteration or terrorism threats. Nancy J. Bendickson, CSP, ARM, ALCM, is a senior consultant, casualty risk control, with Aon Risk Consultants, Minneapolis. She is the Newsletter Editor for TransActions. Safe Vehicle Operations By William J. Hinderks, CSP, CPCU, ARM-P Operating a motor vehicle is by far the single most dangerous activity most people undertake, yet we generally do not give it a second thought. It is not that we do not care about our safety, but rather that we have become complacent. After all, what can a person do? According to National Safety Council (NSC), 44,800 people died in motor vehicle accidents in 2003, and another 2.4 million were disabled. National Highway Traffic Administration estimates costs at $230.6 billion dollars a year or an average of $820 for every person living in the U.S. This is despite safer vehicles, increased seatbelt usage and better roadway design. What about at work? According to the 2001 edition of Injury Facts, 43 percent of workplace fatalities were transportation-related nearly three times the second leading cause. Many public entities operate a substantial fleet. Vehicles range from passenger cars to heavy trucks. They include emergency vehicles such as police cruisers, ambulances and fire trucks. With all of this exposure, it is increasingly prudent and cost-effective for entities to develop what is referred to as a safe vehicle operations program to reduce the probability of accidents, lower repair costs and ensure regulatory compliance. This article describes the fundamental components of such a program. Responsibility & Accountability In organizations with effective programs, everyone from operational management to line employees is responsible for the safe operation of motor vehicles. Specific goals and objectives are written into job accountabilities. Success can be measured in several ways. Individuals should be evaluated using objectives and measures appropriate for their position. The following examples of goals are guidelines for directors, managers and supervisors as they develop accountabilities for their direct reports: 1) Financial Goals a) Reduce the number of vehiclerelated accidents by a predetermined percentage. b) Reduce the costs associated with such accidents by a predetermined percentage. 2) Employee Satisfaction Goals a) Decrease work related injuries arising out of fleet losses. 3) Job Safety Knowledge Management a) Increase employee skills in the safe operation of vehicles and equipment. 4) Improve Business Practices a) Establish a driver qualification program. Driver Qualification One critical function of management in a successful vehicle safety program is to ensure that employees operating vehicles are fully qualified. This starts with the According to the 2001 edition of Injury Facts, 43% of workplace fatalities were transportationrelated nearly three times the second leading cause. initial hiring process and continues with ongoing review of driving records, accident records and periodic observation. Hiring Standards The following areas should be closely evaluated when selecting new drivers: employment application, interview, reference checks and driving history. CDL Requirements Certain operations require drivers to have a commercial driver s license (CDL). This will continued on page 18 TransActions 17

18 Safe Vehicle Operations continued from page 17 ensure that qualified drivers are placed into vehicles, and will keep the entity in compliance with the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 and with state law. Motor Vehicle Records Based on NSC statistics, the average driver is involved in one accident every 12 years, and receives one moving violation every 3 years. A typical motor vehicle record (MVR) audit will reveal three to four nonserious violations per each 10 drivers. Repeaters drivers with two or more accidents or convictions in a three-year period are relatively few, but account for 50 percent of the total convictions and 2.5 times the accident frequency of the driver with a clear record. One may question the validity of a clear driving record in predicting accident potential, but a bad record is usually an indication of poor driving habits or attitudes. Criteria for new hires may differ from policies for existing employees. Collective bargaining agreements may also influence the development of standards. Therefore, the entity must establish its own unique minimum standards of acceptability for MVRs. Whatever criteria are ultimately chosen must be consistently and fairly applied. Operational Policies No two public entities are the same. Establishment of basic policies and procedures sets a standard for the expectations of the organization with respect to various circumstances and situations. It is important that the various standards be articulated in writing. Examples include requirement to obey all driving laws, application of defensive driving principles, vehicle occupant protection requirements and personal use of entity vehicles. Vehicle Inspection & Maintenance Inspections maintain vehicles and equipment in safe operating condition. Multiple policies may be necessary due to the diversity of vehicles an entity may operate. For example, inspection requirements for CDL-mandated vehicles are dictated by federal and state laws. Requirements for the inspection of fire apparatus and other emergency vehicles may be set by state statute or national code. For the remaining group (e.g., passenger cars, pickups, utility vehicles), a third criteria may be desired. It should be the collective responsibility of directors, superintendents and supervisors to implement, administer and advise employees under their direction as to the appropriate methods to conduct, document and maintain records of inspections. It should be the responsibility of drivers to complete the inspections and ensure that appropriate repairs are made in a timely fashion upon detection of deficiencies. Driver Training New employee orientation should include a section on vehicle safety. Ongoing training for existing drivers is also important to keep knowledge current and maintain awareness. Training requirements often vary by position and vehicle. At a minimum, drivers should be required to attend a comprehensive program such as NSC s defensive driving course or equivalent program every 3 years. Table 1 lists programs frequently used by public entities. TABLE 1 Programs Frequently Used by Public Entities Accident Reporting & Investigation An incident is considered a vehicular accident any time in which an entity owned/operated vehicle (or a personal vehicle operated in the scope of entity business) is involved in a collision with another vehicle, pedestrian and/or property. Entities should communicate procedures, including a requirement that employees involved in a collision, no matter how minor, must contact their supervisors immediately or by the end of the next business day if after hours. In addition, procedures may address the following elements: rendering aid and contacting emergency services; reporting incidents to appropriate police agency; gathering information at the scene of the incident; completion of a vehicle incident report. Formal Accident Review Accident review is a formal process of analyzing accidents to establish preventability and initiate corrective actions. Accident review can be conducted by an individual or by a committee. The format is a matter of entity preference. Committees offer the advantage of multiple points of view and may be more objective. Before each review meeting, committee members should receive a copy of each accident report, the supervisor s investigation and comments, and a police report. This will give group members an opportunity to review the reports before meeting. During the meeting, the review board discusses the accident and determines whether the accident is to be evaluated as preventable or non-preventable based on the board s standard definition of preventability. NSC defines a preventable collision as one in which the driver failed to do everything reasonable to prevent it, regardless of fault. Conclusion Renewed attention has been given to motor vehicle safety in the workplace. On April 7, 2004, United Nations Secretary- General Kofi Annan said,... road safety doesn t happen by chance. Achieving and sustaining safety on the roads requires deliberate action from many sectors of society. This was in recognition of the fact that motor vehicles are claiming NAOSH Week 2007 Special Edition

19 million lives each year worldwide. During an address to attendees of the ASSE s Safety 2004 conference, former OSHA Administrator John Henshaw indicated that motor vehicle safety was a specific area addressed by his organization s five-year plan. Presidents Clinton and Bush have both advocated for increased seatbelt usage and other measures to improve traffic safety and save lives. ASSE is the secretariat for ANSI Z15.1, Safe Practices for Motor Vehicle Operations. Driving safety initiatives are gaining momentum, and it is incumbent upon all organizations to get on board. By implementing an aggressive safe vehicle operations program, you will improve financial results, increase knowledge and skills, improve business practices, and increase employee morale and job satisfaction. More importantly, you will save lives and reduce suffering. References Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Commercial Driver s License Program (CDL/CDLIS). Washington, DC: U.S. Dept. of Transportation, FMCSA. /cdl.htm. Henshaw, J.L. Speech at Safety June 8, /pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p _table=speeches&p_id=757. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The President s Initiative for Increasing Seatbelt Use Nationwide. Washington, DC: U.S. Dept. of Transportation, NHTSA, Dec. 28, ner/protection/presinit.html. NHTSA. Traffic Safety Facts Washington, DC: U.S. Dept. of Transportation, NHTSA. National Safety Council. Injury Facts ed. Itasca, IL: NSC, NSC. Injury Facts ed. Itasca, IL: NSC, Traffic Safety. Itasca, IL: NSC, Vol. 4, No. 6, June William J. Hinderks, CSP, ARM-P, CPCU, is a loss prevention specialist with Risk & Insurance Management Co. (RIMCO), Bloomington, IL. RIMCO is a risk management and insurance services consulting firm. Hinderks is vice chair of ANSI Z15.1, Safe Practices for Motor Vehicle Operations. Effective Driver Training Programs: Your Ticket to Cost Savings & Effective Risk Management By Carmen Daecher, CHCM Everyone agrees that motorcoach and transit driver training is essential. Motorcoach owners, transit organizations, insurance companies, governmentseveryone agrees that training is important. But what kind of training should be done and when? Most insurance companies are not definitive in detailing the training they believe is necessary. While they prepare videos and other training materials, they worry about their own risk if they leave something out from what they may define as a standard. Motorcoach and transit operators have strong feelings about training. However, they vary widely, and they are tempered by the pressures of preparing a new driver and maintaining tenured drivers for service. After all, if the wheels are not turning, who cares about training? I have had the good fortune of being part of the development of numerous driver curricula, then presenting the programs to drivers and driver trainers. I have developed many training presentations, and I have worked with different organizations to understand the relationship between training and accident reduction. I have seen the results of improper (or no) training through accident reconstruction and investigations throughout my career. Some may question the need for training programs or even the need for training at all. More fundamental than the need for training is to answer the questions, What type of training? and What will be the training objectives? If these questions can be answered, then it sets the stage for understanding the elements of training and how it should be provided. The Professional Driver First, it must be acknowledged that a motorcoach or transit driver is much more than simply a driver. S/he is not only the operator of a bus, but also a public relations person, a marketing person and a customer service representative. Being professional is much more than simply driving well. Therefore, any training program must encompass the knowledge and skills required to perform all of the various associated driving duties. Aside from content, the intent or objectives for training should also be clear to develop a comprehensive and effective training program. Basically, the objective of any training is to effectively provide and assist in the retention of necessary knowledge and skills associated with duties to be performed. This includes all regulatory information as well as critical job performance information that is not regulatory in nature. Skills are not just related to turning the wheel. They include communication techniques, special-needs passenger assistance and other responsibilities. To provide effective training geared toward maximum retention relates to technique as much as to content. The style and delivery of the instructor, AV assistance, live demonstrations and hands-on practice are key elements in achieving successful training. Keeping as many of the human senses involved in the training experience as possible is fundamental to the retention of information provided during training. A combination of classroom and in the field activities are necessary to produce the type of learning experience that will result in maximum retention. In the classroom, the use of overheads, slides and videos can assist in effective training. Interactive CD-ROMS or web-based training are also effective, and they can be structured for one-on-one training or for classroom-style training. Demonstrations and practice on actual equipment is the in the field experience. Parking lot and on-the-road demonstrations and practice are essential parts of effective training. Driving simulators are also excellent and efficient for substituting or supporting some of this practice. continued on page 20 TransActions 19

20 Effective Driver Training Programs continued from page 19 The trainer/facilitator is also very important in achieving training objectives. A lively communication style and a thorough grasp of the content delivered to students are fundamentally important. If the trainer is boring, the whole experience becomes so. Lastly, the environment of the classroom and the hands-on locations must be conducive to allow students to remain attentive. Climate, lighting and seating arrangements are all important as well. The training program must be tailored A simple rule of thumb to consider in terms of the mix of training to be provided is that for every hour of classroom training, one hour of off-road and two hours of on-road behind-the-wheel training should be provided. to the particular needs of the motorcoach or transit operator. For new candidates, a comprehensive training program is necessary. New hires with experience should undergo a thorough evaluation/testing program to ensure that knowledge and skills meet industry standards and company requirements. Continuing learning programs based upon the collective experience of operators in the company and individual training based upon correctable behaviors should be established. A simple rule of thumb to consider in terms of the mix of training to be provided is that for every hour of classroom training, one hour of off-road and two hours of on-road behind-the-wheel training should be provided. 20 NAOSH Week 2007 Special Edition For those operators with experience, other than training related to specific organization policies and procedures, a combination of road testing, hands-on testing and role playing should be employed. A road test of 30 to 40 miles (not the 10 to 15 miles used by many) should be used to ensure that defensive driving techniques are adequate and acceptable. Transit operators should take 40 to 45 min. to road-test prospective experienced drivers. The operator s demonstration of adequate use and operation of lifts, tie downs and other such equipment should be part of the orientation process. Role-playing to test the experienced operator s skill in communication should also be employed. Based on these tests specific training needs can be identified. Too often, once drivers are hired and trained, they are forgotten. Ongoing training is often considered as unimportant; however, it should be a continuing process. Safety meetings can be an effective way to provide continuing training to operators. This will require that at least a portion of those meetings are focused for training. At least once a year, a thorough review of any regulatory changes should be provided to your operators. Also, it would be beneficial to know the most frequent type of accidents that occur in the industry and to present case studies of industry accidents, their causes and how these might be avoided. In such a scenario, operators will become an interactive part of the solutions. This process, in essence, is training since it will remind all drivers of appropriate behaviors and skills. These are the opportunity areas around which to build training programs for your drivers. The subject matter will dictate the length of training, although no more than one day should be needed. And a combination of classroom and hands-on training should be provided. Through this understanding, better defensive driving techniques can be developed. As part of a safety meeting, hands-on demonstrations specifically related to those operating issues might be considered. If an individual operator, whether because of passenger complaints, moving violations or accidents, exhibits behavior that needs attention, that driver should receive specific training. This is where CD-ROMs or web-based training and the use of an effective driving simulator might be useful. However, one-on-one training that emphasizes proper procedures, techniques and skills is most essential. The operator should also be thoroughly tested. Sophisticated driving simulators are now making their appearance in the transit and motorcoach industries. An effective driving simulator enhances the entire training effort and, in fact, bridges the gap between classroom instruction and hands-on driving experience. A standardized training program will go a long way in deriving maximum advantage from driver simulation technologies. Conclusion So is all of this training worth it? If a motorcoach company or transit organization uses the suggestions outlined, it will have well-prepared operators and will reduce its accident frequency. A recent American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) study concludes that investment through training results in higher total shareholder return. For every $680 spent on training employees, an average 6% improvement in total shareholder return was realized the following year. When ranked according to how much they spent on training, companies at the top half of the group realized an average 36.9% increase in total shareholder return the next year, while those in the bottom half realized only a 19.8% return. ASTD data indicate that typical and direct training costs amount to 2% of payroll, while indirect and opportunity costs may increase revenues by 10% or more. Training is not something that should be done simply because it is required or because other people do it. It should be done with the intent of preparing your employees to perform in ways that will reduce your costs and increase your revenue streams. Ultimately, training will benefit everyone in the company not just those who receive it. Carmen Daecher, CHCM, is president of The Daecher Consulting Group in Camp Hill, PA. He is Chair of the ASSE/ANSI Z15 Committee, Safety Requirements for Motor Vehicle Operations.

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