Preventability Program becomes permanent
The truck fleet industry had been brooding since donkey’s years about having to pay for inequitable crashes when their drivers did not stand guilty for the happening. It was often seen that several accidents were counted against truck drivers when in reality there wasn’t much that the driver could do to prevent the mishap from happening. Truck drivers also found themselves facing the harsh brunt of this unfair allegation with a compromised crash avoidance systems.
On looking into the matter, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) had promised a permanent demonstration program for truckers, which would not consider “non-preventable” crashes in Compliance, Safety, Accountability scores.
In 2015, the FMCSA had laid a temporary plan recognized by the term “The Crash Preventability Demonstration Program” which was to be observed and thereby made permanent in August 2019. In 2017, the FMCSA looked into the data of more than five thousand accident cases by truck and buses combined to find out that about 94% passed for the “non-preventable” category. Quite recently, the FMCSA made permanent their Crash Preventability Determination Program aiding much relief to fleet management.
What Does Crash Preventability Demonstration Program Mean?
In simple language, the crash avoidance or Crash Preventability Demonstration Program means a driver will not be held responsible for an unavoidable crash. Therefore a “non-preventable” crash will not affect a driver’s Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) score.
What determines if CMV owners and Truck Fleets are eligible for a Non-preventable Crash?
There are plenty of factors that could determine if the crash is eligible to participate in the Crash Preventability Demonstration Program or not. If the crash you are involved in meets the following criteria, it would be regarded as a “non-preventable” crash:
- If the CMV was struck in the rear or side at the rear
- If the CMV was struck by a vehicle coming in the wrong direction, or by a vehicle making an illegal turn
- If the crash occurs while being halted at a signal or stop sign
- If there was any medical issue that led to the crash
- If the crash happened due to the result of infrastructure failure or a natural calamity like a fallen tree, rock, etc.
- If the crash occurs when your vehicle was parked or left unattended
- If your truck was struck by another vehicle that failed to pull the brakes or could slow down in time
- If the crash is an unusual one, like being struck by a skydiver, deceased driver, airplane, etc.
- If the other driver involved in the crash was intoxicated while driving
- If the other driver involved in the crash admitted to having dozed off while driving or distracted due to passengers, GPS, cell phone, etc.
- If your truck was struck by an individual attempting to commit suicide or an animal
Find every detail of the Crash Preventability Program here
If CMV owners and trucks meet any of the aforementioned conditions, there is a thick chance the crash they are involved in would be rendered “non-preventable”. However, there is a procedure that is to be followed to use the Crash Preventability Demonstration program. For every accident that took place on or after the 1st of August 2019, a request must be sent to the Request for Data Review (RDR) with a valid police accident report, video, or documentary proof backing the fact that the crash was not the fault of the driver. This can be done through the FMCSA website itself. If the proof is convincing enough, the FMCSA will approve the accident for a “non-preventable” one. You could find more information on applying for a non- preventable crash here.
“Since the inception of CSA, the industry argued that drivers and carriers should not be judged based on crashes they could not have prevented,” said P. Sean Garney, vice president of Scopelitis Transportation Consulting, in reaction to the new program. “The demonstration program was a positive step in this direction.”
Owing to this success of implementation, the exploratory program 2017 slightly differs from the permanent program 2019. Here’s how they are different;
The Permanent Crash Preventability Program
The exploratory program used a different calculation for non-preventable crashes. However, the permanent program has uprooted preventable crashes from a carrier’s safety management system prioritization algorithm, entirely. In other words, a carrier’s Crash Indicator’s basic score will not be calculated using non-preventable crashes anymore.
- On request, carriers can now review a record of their non-preventable crashes. However, this would apply only to crashes post 1st August 2019.
- The FMCSA is organizing the process of eliminating the 30-day public notice before a review can be finalized. Public comments will still be welcome.However, determining the case will not be delayed because of them.
- A list of all the crashes will be available on the FMCSA website with a note signifying if the crash has been reviewed along with the verdict for the crash after the review.
- A report by the police regarding the accident is a mandate and would be considered as one of the most reliable sources for information relevant to the crash. The FMCSA research and various other institutions have validated this procedure over and over again.
- The Pre-employment Screening record (PSP) will indicate a driver’s non-preventable crashes if any. This provision was not a part of the exploratory program.
Fleet Benefits through the Crash Preventable Program
Every truck fleet can seek benefits from the permanent program as it slashes the rule of inequitable crashes by considering factual points of the accident. The Crash Preventable Program also helps with maintaining a healthy CSA score as non-preventable crashes do not hamper this factor. This means there will not be an unnecessary hike in your insurance premium due to a low CSA score for none of your fault. Truck fleet owners can benefit profoundly with this as many businesses bank on the CSA Score check before choosing a fleet trucking company to work with. Therefore, the program proves to be a business booster especially for truck fleet companies.
Prevention is Key
No accident is better than an accident. And that’s what every fleet company should aim to achieve. Although the Crash Preventable Program is a huge relief to truck fleets and carrier companies and drivers both, drivers must be careful enough to avoid a crash in any case. Trucking companies should advise their drivers for the same. This program has not come into existence as a leeway but only to free a driver from false allegations. Truck fleet companies to imply every rule that could avoid a crash and use stringent measures to have the rules followed. ELDs for that matter are a proven way of preventing crashes.
The FMCSA however, has always focused on means to minimize road accidents altogether. It has also introduced the ELD mandate to reduce driver’s fatigue that has been regarded as the foremost reason for truck accidents.
Near Future benefits of the Crash Preventability Program
Crash records sent by trucks to the FMCSA would sure help the department gain a deeper understanding of the cause of truck crashes and how to prevent them in the future. This would render more safe driving methods and safer roads thereby.
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