FMCSA Chief Admits Agency Unsure How to Handle Non at-Fault Accidents

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) chief safety officer acknowledged that using previous crashes as an indicator of future crashes may not necessarily be statistically true.

Speaking at the National Private Truck Council’s 2015 annual general meeting, Jack Van Steenburg admitted what  trucking companies have insisting – that there’s little, if any, data evidence that categorically concludes truck fleets involved in non-preventable crashes which are not their fault are at greater risk of a future crash.

“We don’t know how to manage this That’s what we’re looking at,” Fleet Owner magazine reports Van Steenburg as saying about the data.

Carrier companies and groups like the American Trucking Associations have been urging the FMCSA to make changes to its Compliance, Safety, Accountability scoring system by removing crashes not caused by trucking companies or their drivers. The FMCSA currently includes all types crashes in its CSA scoring, factoring in accidents not caused by a commercial vehicle.

To date, FMCSA has declined to address this issue of removing non at-fault crashes from CSA, saying that assigning accountability to every crash involving a truck and would not significantly improve reporting.

According to Fleet Owner, Van Steenburg also said FMCSA would be conducting a pilot program on split sleeper berth times later this year.

“The research isn’t biased towards us, it isn’t biased towards the industry,” he said. “It is what it is going to be and then we’ll make decisions.”

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