Trends and Challenges Posed by Medium-Duty Trucks to the Operation and Safety of Oregon Highways

Miguel Andres Figliozzi, Portland State University


The primary goal of this initiative is to provide the agency with a comprehensive understanding of medium-duty truck operation, identification of potential areas of risk, forecast of future operational growth and monetization of the costs associated with these changes. To meet this goal, the research methodology must meet the following objectives: (1) Estimate of the number of medium-duty trucks operating in Oregon, including general categorization by industry and/or commodities/services utilizing the trucks, general trip characteristics and logistic patterns, and regional patterns by population density; (2) Evaluate safety data to compare and contrast crash rates, incidents and other relevant safety data involving medium trucks compared to heavy trucks requiring commercial driver's license (CDL) drivers in order to determine whether there is a statistical difference between the two populations; (3) Develop a monitoring methodology for Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) to implement in order to track medium-duty truck safety and performance into the future. This study will identify whether the growing use of medium trucks poses risk to the safety of Oregon highway users. If the evidence indicates an emerging area of risk, ODOT will have time to develop new policies and rules designed to mitigate the risk, avoiding costs to society associated with property damage, personal injuries, fatalities and reduced reliability on the transportation system. Long term benefits could include higher safety compliance, and more effective enforcement.

Funder: Oregon Department of Transportation

Project Details

Project Type:
Project Status:
In Progress
End Date:
January 31,2024
UTC Grant Cycle:
non-UTC project