A RAILWAY sponsored study that blackens the name of US truck safety has been debunked by Daniel Blower, research scientist at the University of Michigan, who described the report's methodology as fatally flawed.
"Fatalities are miscounted. The errors are substantial and not recoverable," said Mr Blower of the report produced by the Multimodal Transportation & Infrastructure Consortium for the Railway Supply Institute.
"It has been demonstrated to a reasonable certainty the crash analysis suffered from numerous fatal errors. Trucks are misclassified," said Mr Blower, an expert on truck safety and truck crash data.
The re-examination of the rail-sponsored study was done at the request of the American Trucking Associations (ATA), reported the American Journal of Transportation.
Said ATA president Bill Graves: "Trucking's critics have no qualms about stretching, sometimes well past the breaking point, data and arguments to smear our industry."
Said Mr Blower: "All the numbers in the tables are seriously wrong. In the process of trying to understand how the authors could have got the numbers so wrong, I found fundamental errors of analysis and evaluation."
Errors included misleading labelling of tables and data, misclassification of truck types, analytical techniques that resulted in errors like double-counting of fatal injuries.
"In the end, I found errors and misconceptions serious enough to undermine any validity to the crash rate analysis," Mr Blower said.
Source : HKSG.