FMCSA Announces Results of Crash Weighting Analysis

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The FMCSA today announced they’ve released a 45-page study detailing the results of their ‘Crash Weighting Analysis’ study.

The study examines 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 carrier crash risk than the current assessment method, and (3) how the agency might reasonably manage and support a process for making crash weighting determinations, including the acceptance of public input.  The announcement invites public comment along with a request for feedback on what steps the agency should take regarding the weighting of crash data in the agency’s systems based on the carrier’s role in a crash.”

The current Safety Measurement System (SMS) “considers” all crash reports involving a CMV, and all crashes that involve a CMV, whether the driver is at-fault or not, goes on the driver’s record.

“Independent research has demonstrated that a motor carrier’s involvement in a crash, regardless of their role in the crash, is a strong indicator of their future crash risk,” the FMCSA maintains.

The FMCSA’s ‘Crash Weighting Analysis’ study examined PARS reports from the National National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and the National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey (NMVCCS) to determine whether or not it is beneficial to apply a weighted point system for crashes.

According to the FMCSA, applying a weighted system “did not appear to improve the ability to predict future crash rates when all crashes are considered.”

In addition, the FMCSA states there is a “concern” over the reliability of using police reports to “make the determination.”

“The study pointed out that implementing a crash weighting effort on a national scale would require a method for uniformly acquiring final Police Accident Reports, a process and system for uniform analysis, and a method for receiving and analyzing public input,” the FMCSA states.

The FMCSA went onto to say that implementing a crash weighting system would also be costly. The FMCSA estimates in order to implement the system on a national scale would cost between $3.9 million and $11.2 million.

The FMCSA is seeking public feedback on the study.

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