The Office of the Vice President for Research recognizes Jeff Hickman, senior research associate with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute Center for Bus and Truck Safety, for investigation of on-board safety systems, including speed limiters, used by commercial vehicles.
Hickman is group leader of the Behavioral Analysis and Applications Group with the Center for Bus and Truck Safety, which specializes in real-world, high quality research focusing on a variety of behavioral safety and health issues involving heavy truck and bus operations.
In addition to onboard safety systems and speed limiters, Hickman is involved with a study of commercial driver individual differences and a fatigue management program.
The individual differences study is examining a wide array of driver and situational factors to determine their relationship to being involved in a crash. These risk factors consist of such personal factors as medical conditions, personality traits, attitudes, and behavioral history; and such work environment conditions as carrier operations type and compensation method. The study will link the characteristics of individual drivers with their driving records, especially the occurrence of safety-related events, including preventable crashes, crashes regardless of preventability, moving violations, and vehicle inspection violations.
A recent body of research in fatigue management indicates that other factors other than working/driving within prescribed hours of service are involved in driver fatigue. While there is no one simple solution, there is enough information to allow for the development of fatigue management modules covering specific topics for specific audiences.