Characterization of fatal occupational versus nonoccupational motor vehicle collisions in Kentucky (1998-2000)

Terry L. Bunn, Tim W. Struttmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Motor vehicle collisions (MVCs) are the leading cause of occupational fatalities in Kentucky as well as in the nation. The characteristics of and contributing factors for occupational versus nonoccupational MVC fatalities in the Commonwealth of Kentucky were examined from 1998 to 2000. Semi trucks were most frequently involved in fatal occupational MVCs, and passenger cars were most frequently involved in nonoccupational MVCs. More than half of the decedent drivers resided outside of Kentucky. The percentage of occupational fatalities occurring on a four-lane highway was double the percentage observed for nonoccupational MVC fatalities. In addition, an increased proportion of occupational MVC deaths occurred on limited access highways compared to nonoccupational fatalities. When human factors contributing to these fatal incidents were examined, the two primary human factors involved in occupational motor vehicle fatalities were driver distraction/inattention and falling asleep, whereas unsafe speed and alcohol were the primary human factors contributing to a nonoccupational fatality. These results suggest that semi drivers traveling on four-lane highways are more at risk for a fatal occupational injury in Kentucky. Therefore, additional epidemiological studies are needed to further examine human factors, the nature of the Kentucky highway system, and trucking controls (e.g., weigh station hours of operation) within the Kentucky transportation industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)270-275
Number of pages6
JournalTraffic Injury Prevention
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Andrew Kinch and Amy Jennings for assistance with data analysis. Support for the FACE project is funded through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/ National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health under Grant no. U60/CCU409879-10.


  • Driver Distraction
  • Driver Fatigue
  • Human Factors
  • Motor Vehicle Collisions
  • Occupational Fatalities
  • Semi Trucks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety Research
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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