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Monday, September 26, 2022

FMCSA Gets Closer Crash Accountability Decision

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has reportedly finished its analysis of crash accountability and is now reviewing the work in preparation for public release.

According to Heavy Duty Trucking, the agency is approaching a decision on how to address the controversial issue.

Operating on the contention that crashes are a predictor of future crashes regardless of fault, the agency’s approach as it tracks a carrier’s safety performance was to aggregate crash data in the CSA Safety Measurement System without reference to fault. The agency also explained that its ability to distinguish fault was limited.

Trucking carriers, however, argue that it is unfair and logically incorrect to base a carrier’s safety performance in part to crashes completely out of the driver’s control, such as being rear-ended while stopped at a red light, for example.

Carriers agree it’s not  always possible to determine fault in all crashes, but argue that when a crash is clearly not the carrier’s fault it should not be included.

“It’s simply outrageous to motor carriers that crashes that are not their fault are used to prioritize enforcement against them,” Rob Abbott, vice president of safety policy at American Trucking Associations, told HDT.

The agency acknowledged carriers’ concerns last year, but pulled back on making changes. Instead, it embarked on the analysis currently underway.

The analysis reportedly examines the  level of reliability of police reports to determine accountability, among other factors.

An agency spokesperson could not say how long the review will take.