OOIDA: Don’t ding truckers for nonpreventable crashes

November 2019

Mark Schremmer

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Crashes deemed “not preventable” should not be counted against truck drivers or motor carriers, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association wrote in formal comments to the FMCSA on Oct. 4.

OOIDA was writing in response to the agency’s proposal to make its crash preventability determination program permanent. The Association supports the proposal, saying that nonpreventable crashes have unnecessarily discredited safety ratings of drivers and motor carriers “for far too long.”

“The results of the initial pilot program speak for themselves with approximately 93% of eligible crashes being determined as nonpreventable,” OOIDA wrote in comments signed by President Todd Spencer.

“Crashes that are not the fault of the driver or a motor carrier should not be counted against them nor should they be interpreted to predict the likelihood that the motor carrier will be involved in a future accident.”

The agency 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, 93% of the crashes were found to be unpreventable by the motor carrier or commercial driver.

“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.

The Association said it is pleased FMCSA is taking steps to stop truck drivers from being negatively affected for crashes they couldn’t prevent.

“We are optimistic that the expansion of this program will show sufficient data so drivers do not have to submit documentation and endure a review process in order to remove nonpreventable crashes from their record,” OOIDA wrote.

The comment period on the proposal ended Oct. 4. LL

 

Mark Schremmer

Mark Schremmer, associate 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 nearly two decades of journalism experience to our staff.