System-Wide Large Truck Safety Analysis in Wisconsin

Quarterly Reports Other Documents Final Report
December 2010
March 2011
Research Brief Final Report

Primary Investigator

David Noyce
TOPS Lab, UW-Madison
1415 Engineering Drive, 1210 EH
Madison, WI 53706


In the United States, over 70 percent of the goods and merchandise are transported by trucks.  Freight transportation has been a foundation of the American economy and is an indispensable force to help recover the manufactures and industries from the deepening economic crisis.  Therefore, providing a secured, safe, and efficient traveling environment for trucks is a paramount task for the transportation society.  Though most large trucks are operated by professional drivers, truck crashes happen frequently.  The causes for truck crashes can be approximately categorized into three areas: 1) inclement weather and pavement conditions; 2) insufficient infrastructure investment; and 3) driver behavioral factors such as the incompliance to traffic rules, fatigue and drowsiness, operational errors, etc.  Like the rest of the country, freight transportation is the cornerstone of the Wisconsin economy.  To address the existing infrastructural deficiencies in the Wisconsin highway systems and to proactively identify the truck crash-prone locations, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation is conducting a system-wide long truck safety and enforcement study.


The objective of this task is to perform a system-wide review of existing large truck safety concerns and address current problematic areas using truck crash data.


  1. Analysis of the exposure and crash frequency of large trucks in WI
  2. Identify the primary causes for truck crashes
  3. Identify the vulnerable locations for large truck crashes
  4. Recommend engineering countermeasures

Project Information

  • Duration: 12 months
  • Dates: March 1, 2010 – 2/28/2011
  • Budget: $75,000
  • Student Involvement: One graduate student and one undergraduate
  • Modal Orientation: Highway
  • Project ID: CFIRE 04-24
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