How Can You Help Prevent a Truck Crash?
by Mario Tarradell | July 20, 2018
An automotive crash is without a doubt one of the worst experiences no matter what kind of vehicle you drive. For truckers, from owner-operators all the way to large trucking companies, a crash cannot only prove dangerous but it can also wreak havoc on your Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) Score.
By keeping your CSA Score low, you keep the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) from sending you letters and investigating you. That in turn keeps your company desirable for your customers, which keeps you in business and hauling better loads.
FMSCA Launches Crash Preventability Program
What if you are involved in a crash? And what if that crash has been ruled preventable? Is that it? Do you accept the consequences of a higher CSA Score and hope for better luck next time?
Luckily, you have other options now. Last August, the FMCSA started the Crash Preventability Demonstration Program for crashes that occurred on or after June 1, 2017. This program allows carriers to submit “compelling evidence that the crash was not preventable,” according to the FMCSA, through its DataQs system under the Crash Preventability Program umbrella.
While the launch of sending crash review requests through the DataQs system hasn’t been glitch-free, check out this CCJ Daily Report article, these are still the types of crashes up for review during this pilot FMCSA program:
- Truck hit by a driver under the influence, or related situation
- Truck hit by a vehicle going in the wrong direction
- Truck hit in the rear
- Truck hit while stopped or parked – legally
- Truck hit by a pedestrian or car attempting suicide by getting in front of the truck
- Truck damaged by hitting an animal in the road
- Truck hit by falling trees, rocks, debris
- Truck hit by cargo, equipment from another vehicle
When you submit your crash for further review, the FMCSA does not require any additional documentation, although you can send in any evidence relating to the crash that you feel will prove your not preventable point. The FMCSA can also ask for additional information such as a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL) and perhaps even a medical certificate.
Preventable, Not Preventable, or Undecided
After your request has been reviewed by the FMCSA, it will be pronounced preventable, not preventable, or undecided. Undecided means that the documents you submitted didn’t lead to a firm decision. If your preventable pronouncement was switched to not preventable, congratulations! Your CSA Score will no longer reflect that not preventable crash.
This doesn’t mean your crash gets erased from your records, though. It’s still there because the FMCSA says it’s important to list all crashes regardless of preventability to offer “the most complete information regarding a motor carrier’s safety performance record.” It’s just not going to impact your CSA score. Since the programs inception on Aug. 1, 2017, more than 2,500 requests for cash reviews have been submitted.
CSA Score Program to Get an Overhaul
Meanwhile, on a related note, the FMCSA has recently released a report that details how it plans to reform the CSA program to better pinpoint and identify unsafe trucking companies. A new scoring method should be unveiled and tested by September for a trial run, then the more permanent model should follow in April 2019.
A truck crash is always a source of stress, sometimes injury, and usually lots of paperwork. Some will be considered not preventable and some may unfortunately be deemed preventable. You can always keep your truck in tip-top shape, to help prevent those crashes, by turning to TA Truck Service for maintenance and repairs.
Apex clients get great discounts on maintenance, tires, and repairs at TA Truck Service. Not an Apex client yet? Let us show you how we can help manage your cash flow and keep your truck running smoothly. Give us a call at 855-369-2739 or visit our website.