Shaffer


Sponsored By:

   The Nation  |  Business  |  Equipment  |  Features


FMCSA to review costs, benefits of crash at-fault measure

Trucking industry stakeholders have long held the position that it was unfair to drivers and carriers alike to have Compliance Safety Accountability (CSA) scores negatively impacted by accidents for which they were not at fault.

The Trucker Staff

7/23/2012

PARK CITY, Utah — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration wants to be able to weight crashes in the Safety Management System (SMS) differently depending on a motor carrier’s role in those crashes, but a recent analysis that assessed the feasibility of using Police Accident Reports — called PARs for short — has led the agency to the conclusion that more study was needed.

As a result, the FMCSA Administration Anne Ferro, in an address to the Trucking Association Executive Council here Monday, announced that the agency would undertake a focused initiative to analyze a process for updating the 100,000 annual state-reported crash records to including a determination of a motor carrier’s role in a crash.

“While this analysis is a first step in our effort in examining the feasibility of police accident reports to determine crash weighting, more needs to be done,” Ferro told council members Monday.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

ADVERTISEMENT

THE RECENT INCREASE IN FREIGHT VOLUME MEANS NEW JOB OPPORTUNITIES ON GOTRUCKERS.COM. CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Trucking industry stakeholders have long held the position that it was unfair to drivers and carriers alike to have Compliance Safety Accountability (CSA) scores negatively impacted by accidents for which they were not at fault.

But while the agency notes that crash reports submitted by the states do not include a determination of whether the motor carrier is responsible, an analysis shows that the current process of including all crashes a motor carrier is involved in is a good predictor of future crash risk.

Also, the just-released PARs study did not ascertain whether the funding needed to make determinations about carriers’ roles in crashes was an effective use of agency resources, Ferro said Monday

“In other words, it was unclear whether being able to determine the carrier’s role in crashes would lead to improvements in SMS that would be significant enough to justify the anticipated $2?$3 million annually required to analyze up to 100,000 crash reports every year,” she said.

The upcoming analysis will include key steps, Ferro said, including:

• A broad study of PARs across the nation will attempt to determine whether they provide sufficient, consistent and reliable information that can be used to determine the carrier’s role in a given crash and what other information, including input from other entities in the outcome of a crash determination, should be used to supplement PARs for maximum reliability.

• FMCSA will conduct analysis to determine if the carrier’s role in a given crash is a better indicator of future crash risk. If so, the analysis will determine the impact of weighting crashes differently in SMS.

• Throughout this analysis, research will also be reviewed from similar programs in other countries (e.g., Canada) to understand their analysis, processes, and applicability to SMS.

The results of this study will be available in the summer of 2013 and FMCSA will develop a plan for implementing appropriate crash determinations, the administrator said.

“FMCSA designed the SMS to be continually improved as better data, information, and analysis become available. This crash weighting analysis project is part of that effort and FMCSA will evaluate it to determine if the role of carriers in crashes will provide additional data to improve the effectiveness of the SMS,” Ferro told the association. “The data gained will help us determine the ability of FMCSA to address the volume of crashes within our current resources.”

The PARs analysis released Monday and the proposed additional analysis can be viewed on the CSA website.

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

Find more news and analysis from The Trucker, and share your thoughts, on Facebook.

Amer. Truckers Legal