Field Study 4: Covert Observation in a Fleet Setting

Objective: Quantify egress behaviors in a fleet setting.

Method: The covert egress methods applied at truck stops were used in a truck company depot in which all drivers were using the same truck model with tank-mounted steps. This fleet used a standardized driver training protocol that emphasized three points of contact and inward-facing egress.

Results: Of 100 egress events observed, 38 were outward-facing, 44 were inward facing, and 18 switched between out and in. Of the 18 switches, 11 were out-to-in and the remainder demonstrated more varied tactics. In 72 of 100 egresses, the driver carried an object, often gloves, a clipboard, coat, or a briefcase in one hand.

Key Findings:
• Outward-facing egress is common even with tank-mounted steps that would seem to favor inward-facing egress due to a narrow lower step and near-vertical step arrangement.
• Outward-facing egress is common even among drivers who are known to have been trained to face the truck.
• Carrying objects, which makes maintaining three points of contact nearly impossible, is common.

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