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An examination of the relationship between financial performance and safety factors in the heavy trucking industry

Version 2 2024-06-05, 12:02
Version 1 2023-04-17, 00:22
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-05, 12:02 authored by Wonmongo SoroWonmongo Soro, Narelle Haworth, Ashim DebnathAshim Debnath, Darren Wishart
Heavy trucks disproportionately contribute to road fatalities and injuries worldwide. Safety efforts to reduce these undesired outcomes have mostly focused on regulating overt driver behaviors such as speeding and fatigue, ignoring underlying systemic issues such as the financial performance of the company. Nevertheless, there is evidence that financial pressures may lead organizations to reduce safety investments and adopt payment policies that implicitly pressure drivers to drive faster and work longer hours. This paper examines the relationships between financial performance of organizations and crash influential factors, including driver employment type, driver payment method, driver skills level, type of load carried, technology adoption and vehicle acquisition. Data collected from an online survey of 69 Australian heavy trucking organizations was analyzed using the Correspondence Analysis methodology. Results showed a positive association between good financial performance and the adoption of safety-promoting policies, such as having skilled drivers, buying new vehicles or vehicles highly equipped with safety technologies. This implies that organizations’ financial performance in the trucking industry can be considered a safety performance indicator with a poor financial performance implying a risk of reducing safety investments. Results also showed that good financial performance is associated with carrying livestock, refrigerated or dangerous freight, selecting employee drivers, and paying drivers based on performance. Findings of this study have strong potential to improve truck safety by informing policy development, particularly on examining the inclusion of financial performance into the truck regulatory legislation.

History

Journal

Safety Science

Volume

164

Article number

106156

Pagination

1-14

Location

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

ISSN

0925-7535

Language

en

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Publisher

Elsevier

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