FMCSA Releases Crash Weighting Analysis

On Friday, January 23, the FMCSA published in the Federal Register a notice announcing a study, which is used, “to inform decision making about the feasibility of using a motor carrier’s role in crashes as an indicator of future crash risk.” The Agency notes it undertook this study in response to stakeholder interest and as part of the Agency’s commitment to continuous improvement. The study will assess:

1. whether Police Accident Reports (PARs) provide sufficient, consistent, and reliable information to support crash weighting determinations;

2. whether a crash weighting determination process would offer an even stronger predictor of crash risk than overall crash involvement and how crash weighting would be implemented in the Agency’s Safety Measurement System (SMS); and

3. how FMCSA might manage a process for making crash weighting determinations, including the acceptance of public input. This notice advises the public of the availability of the study report for review and comment, along with a request for feedback on what steps the Agency should take regarding crash and PAR data quality.

As a member of the FMCSA’s Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee (MCSAC) CSA Subcommittee, TIA has made recommendations that the FMCSA should exclude crash data for which there is a clear determination of not-at-fault or non-preventable crashes for purposes of a carrier’s Crash Indicator BASIC score. TIA along with other likeminded industry stakeholders strongly believe that preventability determination in crashes is an important part of data quality. Reporting all crashes regardless of determination of fault is inappropriate, as many accidents do not necessarily relate to a carrier’s safety.

In general terms of the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) initiative, it has been, and remains, TIA’s consistent position that the FMCSA Safety Rating alone determines a motor carrier’s fitness for use, and should always take precedence over, and clearly outweigh, any single score, or collection of scores, or data set, including CSA’s BASIC scores.

TIA’s CSA-Carrier Selection Framework Subcommittee will be providing feedback and comments on the analysis on what, if anything TIA should comment on.