Since the launch of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability program, private fleets have been concerned over its lack of crash accountability. Under the program, the agency doesn’t differentiate between preventable and nonpreventable crashes, and crashes that are not the fault of the professional driver are still used to predict a private fleet’s crash risk, affecting CSA percentile rankings.
However, FMCSA has outlined plans for a two-year demonstration program that would allow certain nonpreventable crashes to be removed from private fleets’ CSA safety profiles. Once the program is underway, FMCSA will accept requests for data review of a crash through FMCSA’s DataQs system.
A crash would be considered “not preventable” if the commercial motor vehicle was struck by a motorist who was convicted of driving under the influence, driving in the wrong direction, striking the CMV in the rear or striking the CMV while it was legally stopped.
FMCSA said the program would also “test the impacts of determining a crash to be ‘not preventable’ when it was the result of a suicide, an animal strike or an infrastructure failure.”
Evidence of a conviction, as well as law enforcement reports and insurance reports from all parties involved in the crash, would be submitted as part of a data review. For events that did not result in a conviction, such as animal strikes, private fleets could submit police reports and insurance information.
FMCSA has not announced a launch date but said the test period would last at least two years. The data gathered during the program, including the number of crashes removed from the Crash Indicator BASIC and the effects it has on private fleets’ scores, will be used to shape potential recommendations of longer-term changes to the program.