FMCSA wants to make crash preventability determination program permanent

October 2019

Mark Schremmer


FMCSA’s proposal to make its crash preventability determination program permanent was officially published in the Federal Register on Aug. 5.

Public comment on the notice will be accepted until Oct. 4.

FMCSA started the program in August 2017, reviewing more than 5,600 crashes submitted by truck and bus companies to determine if a crash could have been prevented by a motor carrier. According to the agency, 94% of the crashes were found to be unpreventable by the motor carrier or commercial driver.

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao in March announced plans to make the program permanent at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky.

“After 18 months of operating the program, FMCSA has decided to operate a crash preventability determination program, using a streamlined process, and proposes to modify the Safety Measurement System to remove crashes found to be not preventable from the prioritization algorithm and noting the not-preventable determinations in the pre-employment screening program,” the notice stated.

“In addition, FMCSA proposes to consolidate two of the original crash types in the demonstration program and start reviewing additional crash types to determine if crashes in the additional categories are predominantly not preventable.”

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association said the proposal is a move in the right direction.

“OOIDA supports the permanent establishment of the crash preventability determination program,” said Jay Grimes, OOIDA’s director of federal affairs. “For far too long, these nonpreventable crashes have unnecessarily discredited safety ratings for drivers and motor carriers. We also applaud FMCSA for expanding the types of crashes that can be reviewed and for removing nonpreventable crashes from the SMS crash indicator BASIC.”

Comments may be made at the website by

entering docket number FMCSA-2014-0177. LL


Mark Schremmer

Mark Schremmer, senior editor, joined Land Line in 2015. An award-winning journalist and former assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal, he brings fresh ideas, solid reporting skills, and more than two decades of journalism experience to our staff.