We Can't Do It Alone: Effective Partnerships Toward Large Truck and Bus Safety



It’s easy to become boxed in by our profession. Whether we represent a trucking company, law enforcement, a state driver’s licensing agency, the government or a university, overemphasis on specialization can make it challenging to develop a dynamic and multi-dimensional approach to eliminating large truck and bus crashes and associated fatalities. As the saying goes: when you’re a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. And while that may be fine for some tasks, you’re going to want a broader set of tools if your aim is to improve safety for large trucks and buses. 

This is why partnerships are so crucial. Because no single company or agency has all the knowledge and resources necessary to progress toward our goal of zero roadway fatalities, its essential that we share lessons learned, best practices, and technologies with one another. By pooling our expertise, we can approach challenges from new angles, make sure we’re not wasting time “reinventing the wheel,” and are actually expanding upon the foundations laid by others. 


Effective large truck and bus safety strategies not only require buy-in from truck and bus companies, law enforcement, state driver’s licensing agencies, state, local and federal government, and researchers, but close collaboration among those entities. It’s important to identify which leaders, players, strategies, and funding sources are already at work within your state to ensure you are collaborating. In a presentation for the 2019 Commercial Vehicle Safety Summit, the FMCSA outlined qualities of a valuable partnership, including: 

  • Common interest 

  • Shared challenges 

  • A need to resolve conflict 

  • A need to synthesize actions 

Equally important is identifying those who are not currently involved in statewide partnershipsmost often insurance representatives, prosecutors, and legal courts (but this will vary from region to region). Make sure you’re engaging them in your state’s safety efforts.  


That presentation, along with many others, is available to view or download at CV-STAC’s new Resources page. This Resources page allows users to search by topic CV-STAC materials in order to see the initiatives other states and companies are implementing. Use these resources to find the gaps in your activities, and please consider contacting the presenters—it could be the start of a new partnership. If we want to reach our goal of zero roadway fatalities, it is absolutely essential that we break out of our narrow perspectives and work together.