Comment period on crash determination program officially opens

August 5, 2019

Mark Schremmer

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

“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.”

Under the proposal, the 15 crash types would be:

Struck in rear

  • Legally stopped or parked.
  • Suicides or suicide attempts.
  • Wrong direction.
  • Animal strikes.
  • Individuals under the influence.
  • Infrastructure failure or struck by cargo, equipment or debris.
  • Struck on the side in the rear.
  • Commercial motor vehicle struck by vehicle that did not stop or slow in traffic.
  • CMV struck by vehicle that failed to stop at a traffic control device.
  • CMV struck by vehicle making a U-turn or illegal turn.
  • CMV struck by driver who experiences medical issue.
  • CMV struck by driver who admits falling asleep or to distracted driving.
  • When crash involves an individual under the influence even if the CMV was struck by another vehicle involved in the crash.
  • When crash involves a driver operating in wrong direction even if CMV was struck by another vehicle involved in the crash.

Comments may be made at the Regulations.gov website by entering docket number FMCSA-2014-0177

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.