Rearview Video System as Countermeasure for Trucks’ Backing Crashes: Evaluating the System’s Effectiveness by Controlled Test

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In general, the operation of large trucks involves many different types of maneuvers. The backing maneuver, in particular, requires a higher level of driver attention because of the limited rear view. A growing number of trucks in the United States are equipped with a rearview video system (RVS) that can help the driver see much of the area behind the vehicle. An RVS consists of one or more cameras and one monitor. It is expected that an RVS can help drivers reduce potential backing crashes. To evaluate the effectiveness of the system, this study performed a controlled driver test with 45 truck drivers. The test used three backing maneuvers and a pedestrian dummy for observation of potential crashes. The results showed that the use of an RVS increased the stop rate of the drivers during the straightline backing maneuver by 46.7%, which could be interpreted as an increase in the odds of avoiding potential backing crashes during the backing maneuver. The stop rate increased 4.4% and 17.8% for the offset right backing and alley dock backing maneuvers, respectively. Driver age, commercial driving experience, and experience with an RVS showed no statistical association with the increased stop rate, which means an RVS can be adopted by drivers quickly. In general, drivers showed positive attitudes toward using an RVS, and more than 90% of respondents agreed that an RVS could reduce the rear blind spot for large trucks.

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Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, v. 2194, p. 55-63.