The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has presented a program development that would exclude non-preventable crashes from the safety records of the motor carrier. This demonstration will be used to determine the “efficacy” of a program to conduct preventability determinations on specific types of crashes.

Currently, the FMCSA accounts for all accidents in its Safety Measurement System but Police Accident Reports (PARs) do not specify the motor carrier’s standing in the crash. The agency is now viewing this system as unfair as it counts the crashes in which the motor vehicle drivers were not at fault. Under the new ruling, a crash would be considered not preventable if the CMV was struck by another vehicle whose driver is convicted of any of the four following offences:

  1. Driving under the influence
  2. Driving the wrong direction
  3. Striking the CMV in the rear
  4. Striking the CMV while it was legally stopped

These four scenarios were selected with the hope of gaining further insight into how a motorist’s role in an accident affects future crash risk. Reports of unpreventable accidents will be submitted via the Agency’s existing DataQs program where they will then be reviewed for approval. Approved, non-preventable crashes will, in turn, be removed from SMS.

“Since FMCSA began using crash history to rate motor carriers’ safety, ATA has argued that crashes a driver could not have prevented shouldn’t be counted on a carrier’s safety record,” ATA President and CEO Bill Graves added,  “By improving crash accountability and data, FMCSA can improve the performance and accuracy of the CSA monitoring system – a goal ATA wholeheartedly supports”

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