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Cases Illustrate Why Crash Accountability Should Be Revisited


This week, the ATA again petitioned to the FMCSA to reconsider its stance on crash accountability and remove crashes from a driver’s or carrier’s record when the evidence shows that the carrier or driver was not at fault.

The current CSA system penalizes carriers and drivers for accidents that may have been out of the driver’s control.

“Including these types of crashes in the calculation of carriers’ CSA scores, paints an inappropriate picture for shippers and others that these companies are somehow unsafe,” ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said. “This may be the case with some crashes,” said Graves, “but not when a drunk driver rear ends a gasoline tanker or the driver of a stolen car crosses a grassy median and strikes a truck head on.”

This week, the FMCSA heard testimony from a crash reconstructionist and former highway patrolman who told the agency that crash accountability can not solely rely on accident and police reports, however, the ATA maintains that common sense should prevail.

“Just last month, police gave chase to a driver of a stolen car who crossed a grassy median and struck a truck head-on,” said  Graves . “It is clearly inappropriate for FMCSA to use these types of crashes to prioritize trucking companies for future government intervention, especially when responsibility for the crash is so obvious.”

We don’t need more research to conclude that it is inappropriate to use crashes like these to paint the involved trucking companies and professional drivers as unsafe,” he concluded.

ATA pointed to several examples of such crashes that have occurred over the past year: 

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