Motor Carriers can now Dispute Crash Fault in their CSA Scores
Finally, the FMCSA is addressing one of the trucking industry’s biggest issues with the CSA Safety Measurement System (SMS). Currently, all crashes, regardless if it was preventable or not, is included in carrier’s CSA scores and negatively affect their safety ratings.
However, a new pilot program is starting in order to remedy this issue. As of August 1, 2017, after announcing a two year Crash Preventability Demonstration Program to review the preventability of certain crashes, the FMCSA is accepting Requests for Data Review (RDRs) in its DataQs system for certain crashes occurring on or after June 1, 2017.
When reviewing crashes, the agency will use the preventability standard found in federal regulations that states: “If a driver, who exercises normal judgment and foresight could have foreseen the possibility of the accident that in fact occurred, and avoided it by taking steps within his or her control which would not have risked causing another kind of mishap, the accident was preventable.”
This new pilot program may pave the way to have crashes reviewed, deemed non-preventable and removed from carriers’ CSA ratings.
Can I really dispute crashes that negatively affect my CSA score?
However, after a motor carrier or driver submits compelling documentation during the DataQ process (police accident reports, insurance documents, videos, etc.), a crash with a final determination will appear with a note that FMCSA reviewed the crash and determined it was either “Preventable” or “Not Preventable.” In some cases, a third option of “Undecided” may be determined if there was inconclusive evidence provided.
During the pilot program, the “Crash Indicator BASIC” percentiles will remain unavailable on the public view of FMCSA’s SMS website, but enforcement officials or carriers that login and view their own profiles, the two “Crash Indicator BASIC” percentiles will be calculated if there are “Not Preventable” final determinations. One percentile score is with the “Not Preventable” crashes and one is without.
The agency says it believes it is important to display all crashes, regardless of the preventability determination, to provide “the most complete information regarding a motor carrier’s safety performance record.”
The agency will begin accepting requests on certain types of crashes beginning Aug. 1 for crashes that occurred on or after June 1, 2017.
Eight crash types will be available for review
Through the new two year pilot program, FMCSA will accept the following eight crash types for review:
- When a truck was struck by a driver under the influence or a related offense
- When a truck was struck by a motorist driving in the wrong direction
- When a truck was hit in the rear
- When a truck was hit while legally stopped or parked
- When a pedestrian or car drives in front of a truck in an attempt to commit suicide by truck
- When a truck sustains disabling damage after hitting an animal in the road
- When a crash is caused by an infrastructure failure or falling trees, rocks or other debris
- When a truck is hit by cargo or equipment from another vehicle
So, what is the DataQ?
The most common use for the DataQ is to request the removal or correction of violations incurred during roadside inspections.
As a motor carrier, actively managing your safety measurement system (SMS) scores is crucial. The “SMS” will only become more central to the FMCSA’s enforcement strategy as we move forward from 2017.
Eventually, the SMS will determine your DOT safety rating based off of your SMS scores and inspection data so it is more important than ever to make sure the data in the system is accurate and appropriate for your company.
For more common DataQ challenges, links to additional resources, or additional DataQ tips to be aware of, you can:
- Download the NATSA DataQ ebook, Download Now
- Watch the DataQ video: NATSA Education Committee Presents the basics of DATA Q challenges from NATSA Member Alex Vukonich of Glostone Trucking Solutions
Want help with this whole process?
Glostone can do this for you so you can focus on what you do best. Contacts our expert staff today at 503-607-1088. Be sure to check out our full CSA Score Management service for fleets and owner operators.