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ATRI names research priorities for 2023

May 9, 2023
The American Transportation Research Institute has identified the top five trucking issues it wishes to research in 2023.

The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) Board of Directors approved its 2023 Top Research Priorities, as identified by ATRI's Research Advisory Committee, during its mid-year meeting in Florida earlier this month.

ATRI's research committee initially identified and prioritized the list of recommended research topics at its annual RAC meeting held in Atlanta in March. The ATRI Board, led by ATRI Chair Derek Leathers of Werner Enterprises (No. 13 on the FleetOwner 500 for-hire carriers), reviewed and approved the research topics on May 5, according to an ATRI press release.

ATRI’S 2023 top research priorities

Expanding truck parking at public rest areas

The lack of available truck parking is perennially ranked by drivers as their top concern.  This research will identify and map truck driver needs to rest stop attributes, develop best practice case studies, and utilize truck driver data to identify strategies for expanding truck parking capacity available at public rest areas.

Identifying barriers to entry for female truck drivers

Female truck drivers represent less than 10 percent of the truck driver workforce, yet ATRI research documents that female drivers are safer than their male counterparts.  This research will identify gender issues and proactive steps that the industry can take to make truck driving careers more appealing to women.

Complete Streets’ impact on freight mobility 

Complete Streets is a U.S. Department of Transportation program designed to make transportation accessible for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit riders.  However, planning decisions to deploy complete streets often negatively impact freight transportation and those who rely on truck-delivered goods.  This study will quantify these impacts and recommend approaches for transportation planners to better facilitate freight movement.

Examining the diesel technician shortage

The industry's challenges in recruiting and retaining diesel technicians is often cited as being as critical as the driver shortage.  This research will work with government and industry to identify the factors underlying the shortage, including mapping career attributes to workforce needs, and assessing high school-level vocational training availability, industry recruitment practices, and competing career opportunities.

The cost of driver detention

Truck drivers and motor carriers consistently rank driver detention at customer facilities as a top industry concern.  This research, supported by shipper groups, will include quantitative data collection to identify detention impacts, costs, and strategies for minimizing detention.

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