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FMCSA proposes permanent crash preventability determination program



After a two-year demonstration program to determine its viability and usefulness, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration wants to make permanent a program to determine the preventability of crashes involving commercial motor vehicles. (Courtesy: FOTOSEARCH)

WASHINGTON – For two years, The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has been conducting a crash preventability demonstration program to see if it could more accurately recognize possible safety risks on our nation’s roads. Of primary importance to truckers, the program aimed to examine the feasibility, costs, and benefits of determining and displaying the preventability of certain types of crashes.

It appears the agency has seen enough. Back in March, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, while speaking at the Mid-America Trucking Show, said that based on the data that had come in since the demonstration program began in August, FMCSA intended to create a permanent version of the program its Safety Measurement System (SMS).

On Wednesday, FMCSA released an announcement that a permanent version of the crash preventability determination program had been designed, and the intention is to make it a permanent part of SMS as of October 1. In the meantime, the agency wanted the public to have a 60-day window to take an early look at the program and give comments.

Ever since the FMCSA initiated its SMS, the trucking industry has complained about how the Behavior Analysis Safety Improvement Category, or BASIC, records all accidents without differentiating whether the accident was preventable. FMCSA began the demonstration program, accepting requests for data reviews (RDRs) to evaluate the preventability of certain categories of crashes through its national data correction system, called DataQs.

Based on input from the American Trucking Associations, FMCSA limited the RDR reviews to those that fell into one of eight categories of crash types:

  1. When the commercial motor vehicle (CMV) was struck by a motorist driving under the influence (or related offense);
  2. When the CMV was struck by a motorist driving the wrong direction;
  3. When the CMV was struck in the rear;
  4. When the CMV was struck while it was legally stopped or parked, including when the vehicle was unattended;
  5. When the CMV struck an individual committing, or attempting to commit, suicide by stepping or driving in front of the CMV;
  6. When the CMV sustained disabling damage after striking an animal in the roadway;
  7. When the crash was the result of an infrastructure failure, falling trees, rocks, or other debris; or
  8. When the CMV was struck by cargo or equipment from another vehicle.

Between August 1, 2017, and May 31, 2019, a total of 12,249 RDRs from 3,558 carriers were submitted to FMCSA for review. Of those, 5,619 were determined to fit into one of the crash types.

After review, FMCSA reported, about 93% of the crashes were determined to have been “not preventable, which high percentages in all eight categories. For example, in the category, “When the CMV was struck in the rear,” 3,675 of 3,927 incidents were determined to be “not preventable.” In the category “When the commercial motor vehicle (CMV) was struck by a motorist driving under the influence (or related offense),” it was 386 out of 417.

Prior to starting the demonstration program, FMCSA specified that in cases in which it was determined the CMV operator was operating with an out-of-service condition at the time, that crash would automatically be deemed “Preventable.” According to FMCSA, the majority of incidents that were determined to be preventable were for that reason.

In its announcement Wednesday, FMCSA said with its revised crash preventability determination program, it plans to adjust and expand the categories of crashes that can be evaluated from eight to 15.

First, FMCSA would combine the crash type involving infrastructure failure and debris and involving CMVs struck by cargo and equipment into a single category. The “Motorist under the influence” category would be changed to “Individuals under the influence,” to include bicyclists and pedestrians.

Several new categories would also be added, based on RDRs that were submitted but did not meet the original categories. They are:

  1. When the CMV is struck on the side near the rear, when the other driver was in another lane before the impact,
  2. When the CMV is struck by a vehicle that did not slow or stop in traffic,
  3. When the CMV is struck by a vehicle that failed to stop at a traffic control device, such as a stop or yield sign or a red light,
  4. When the CMV is struck by a vehicle making a U-turn or illegal turn,
  5. When the CMV is struck by a driver experiencing a medical issue that causes the crash,
  6. When the CMV is struck by a driver who admits to falling asleep or to distracted driving,
  7. When the crash involved a person who was under the influence, even if the CMV was struck by another vehicle involved other than the one driven by the person who was under the influence, and
  8. When the crash involved a person driving in the wrong direction, even if the CMV was struck by a vehicle other than the one that was driving in the wrong direction.

FMCSA said it plans to review the results of these new categories for up to 24 months to determine their effectiveness.

Under the proposal, crashes on or after August 1 will continue to display in SMS, but with a notation of “Not Preventable,” “Preventable” or “Undecided.” Crashes deemed “Not Preventable will be removed from SMS Crash Indicator BASIC calculations.

“Data drives our agency’s decisions, and the information we’ve received and analyzed during the demonstration project informed our action today to expand and improve the crash preventability program,” said FMCSA Administrator Raymond Martinez.  “We’ve listened to carriers, drivers, and other commercial motor vehicle stakeholders throughout each step of this process, and strongly encourage all interested parties to submit comments on our proposed changes.”

For more information about the proposal, including how to submit comments to the Federal Register docket, click  here.

Learn more about FMCSA’s Crash Preventability Demonstration Program here.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Mike

    August 1, 2019 at 3:36 pm

    If you people in government knew just one thing when you make a brainiacs decision you mess it all up you want to save love .. bullshit you want big business money is all why did you ever deregulate tricking it’s to big and it worked before we have the same rates as in 1970’s yea today that’s the truth you opened up brokerage with a 75000 bond give authority for 500 dollars if you don’t speak English the dot can’t put them out of service over 1/2 of trucks have forgiveness driving most don’t have a class one just a drivers license oh don’t belive me call the fuel desk at pilot or loves or Petro and ask you make a job that use to have pride into a geto where is there a job that has a hourly limit and a %pay ,, you want to fix it keep the eld and change all rates to hourly pay 10 mph over the limit lost lisense for 3 months 170,000 for a tractor 50000 for a trailer and 2.00 per mile pay u got accounts tell them to figure that one out vans 100,flat125,rgn150 add for weight and permits then no more speeding no more old junk sales go up taxes go up profit or call the teamsters tell Hoffa to regulate it again for everyone the whole country but u won’t you just like Hillary money for play who do you think your kiddin

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The Nation

CDL Meals forms partnership with American Association of Owner-Operators



CDL Meals offers a variety of organic chef-prepared meals that help drivers make healthy eating choices while on the road. (Courtesy: CDL MEALS)

ANAHEIM, Calif. — CDL Meals, the division of Fresh n’ Lean focusing on healthful meal options for professional truck and bus drivers, has formed a partnership with the American Association of Owner Operators (AAOO).

CDL Meals offers a variety of organic chef-prepared meals that help drivers make healthy eating choices while on the road.

“We could not be more excited to launch our first healthy-eating alliance with AAOO,” said Bob Perry, director of CDL Meals. “We believe that people working in all industries deserve to live a healthy lifestyle and have access to the tools they need to ensure overall wellbeing, despite industry standards and limitations. CDL Meals has already made a positive impact on drivers and through this partnership, more operators can benefit from the quality meal plans.”

The American Association of Owner Operators is a nationwide organization dedicated to providing professional truckers and small fleet owners with the latest technology, benefits and assistance to advance in today’s trucking industry.

Perry said through the partnership, members of the AAOO will have access to CDL’s seasonal menus, free nationwide delivery and the promise of fresh, affordable meals on the road.

“We are so thankful the team at Fresh n’ Lean saw an opening to help improve the wellbeing of those in the trucking industry,” said David Huff, CEO of AAOO. “We are committed to helping drivers stay safe while out on the road so they can get back home to their family and friends. “Good nutrition is the most important part of staying healthy and staying healthy is a huge factor in staying safe. That’s why we are so excited to partner with CDL Meals and provide great tasting meals at an affordable price to our members.”

Perry said CDL Meals is a service formulated especially for commercially licensed drivers to deliver chef-prepared food items anywhere within the U.S. using organic ingredients to create balanced, wholesome meals. Each menu option consists of a combination of protein, healthy carbohydrates, and vegetables. All meals are delivered fresh and can be refrigerated for up to seven days. The vacuum-sealed trays can be heated quickly and enjoyed at any time.

Along with the meals, each purchase comes with a 14-page driver wellness education booklet that includes dietary tips, an exercise plan, and suggestions to improve overall health through simple lifestyle changes.

For more information on CDL Meals, visit

For more information on AAOO, visit






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The Nation

NHTSA: Overall traffic fatalities in 2018 decline 2.4%, 2019 drop likely



NHTSA said the fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled decreased by 3.4 percent (from 1.17 in 2017 to 1.13 in 2018), the lowest fatality rate since 2014. (Associated Press)

WASHINGTON — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Tuesday released highway crash fatality data for 2018, showing a 2.4% decline in overall fatalities, the second consecutive year of reduced crash fatalities.

“This is encouraging news, but still far too many perished or were injured, and nearly all crashes are preventable, so much more work remains to be done to make America’s roads safer for everyone,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao said.

The data, compiled by NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), shows that highway fatalities decreased in 2018 with 913 fewer fatalities, down to 36,560 people from 37,473 people in 2017. The fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled also decreased by 3.4 percent (from 1.17 in 2017 to 1.13 in 2018), the lowest fatality rate since 2014.

The 2018 FARS release also clarifies previously released data on large trucks involved in fatal crashes. NHTSA reexamined supporting material and reclassified several light pickup trucks to an appropriate large truck category (10,000 lbs. gross vehicle weight ratings (GVWR). As a result, the 9% increase in large-truck-related fatalities reported for 2017 has been revised to 4.9%. For 2018, large-truck related fatalities increased by 0.9 percent. The details of the scope of the changes are documented in the 2018 fatal motor vehicle crashes overview research note.

No data was available on Class 8 tractor-trailer combinations.

Other findings from the 2018 FARS data include:

  • Fatalities among children (14 and younger) declined 10.3%
  • Alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities declined 3.6%
  • Speeding-related fatalities declined 5.7%
  • Motorcyclist fatalities declined 4.7 percent.

“New vehicles are safer than older ones and when crashes occur, more new vehicles are equipped with advanced technologies that prevent or reduce the severity of crashes,” said NHTSA Acting Administrator James Owens said. “NHTSA has spent recent years partnering with state and local governments and safety advocates to urge the public to never drive impaired or distracted, to avoid excessive speed, and to always buckle up.”

Jonathan Adkins, executive director of the Governor Highway Safety Association (GHSA) said the organization was pleased to see the 2018 decline and the estimated 3.4% dip thus far in 2019.

“A decline in 2019 would mark three straight years of fewer fatalities despite a strong economy, which typically correlates with increased traffic deaths,” he said. “However, the only acceptable level of deaths is zero, and we will not rest until that is achieved.”

Adkins said GHSA was glad to note progress in reducing alcohol-related, speeding-related and motorcyclist fatalities in 2018.

“The tremendous investments made today in highway safety have been beneficial, but clearly not commensurate with the need,” Adkins said. “GHSA is committed to working with our partners in the federal government, advocacy community and at the state and local level to accelerate the momentum toward zero deaths on our nation’s roadways.”

NHTSA said the projected 2019 decline translates to an estimated first-half 2019 fatality rate of 1.06, the lowest first-half level since 2015. The estimates for the second quarter of 2019 represent the seventh-consecutive year-over-year quarterly decline in fatalities, starting in the last quarter of 2017.

NHTSA is identifying opportunities to leverage its resources and collaborate with modal partners within USDOT to reduce fatalities among pedestrians and pedalcyclists (bicyclists and riders of two-wheel, nonmotorized vehicles, tricycles, and unicycles powered solely by pedals), among whom 2018 fatalities unfortunately increased by 3.4% (to 6,283) and 6.3% (to 857), respectively.

With the release of the 2018 and 2019 data, NHTSA also introduced its new Fatality and Injury Reporting System Tool (FIRST), a modernized crash query tool that lets users not only query fatal crash data but also generate estimates of crashes and people injured in crashes. The upgraded functionalities in the new tool include generating multi-year trends, estimates of alcohol involvement, and charting/tabulation/mapping of query results. The tool, along with instructions on its usage, can be accessed here.

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The Nation

Truckers Christmas Group set to launch annual holiday fundraising campaign



Since its inception, TGCO has raised more than $90,000 and helped 154 trucking families ease the financial burdens associated with the holiday season. (Courtesy: TRUCKERS CHRISTMAS GROUP)

PARK CITY, Kan. — The Truckers Christmas Group (TGCO), an organization that raises funds to help professional truck drivers and their families in the United States and Canada, has begun its 12th annual holiday fundraising campaign.

TCGO will begin advertising for this year’s campaign on November 18.  Nominations will open on the TGCO website beginning November 21 and will close on December 11.

Families will be notified by TGCO’s very own Santa Claus on December 16-17.

Created in 2008, TGCO supports CDL drivers and their families during the holiday season by raising funds requested through aid applications and nominations.

In 2018, the organization saw record numbers of applications and delivered $8,000 to 16 families during the Christmas season.

Since its inception, TGCO has raised more than $90,000 and helped 154 trucking families ease the financial burdens associated with the holiday season.

Several trucking companies went bankrupt in the first half of 2019 alone, leaving more than 3,000 drivers without jobs. TGCO is anticipating another record year of applications and seeks donations to help provide aid for families in need — not just from unemployment — but from illness and other catastrophic events that can make the holiday season more stressful year-after-year.

“We haven’t even opened the application process yet and already we’ve received recommendations for multiple families that would significantly benefit from TGCO’s efforts,” said Mark Abraham, president of TGCO. “This year has been incredibly difficult for the drivers in our community and the donation of goods and funds will help us make sure each and every driver in our trucking family can support their families during the holiday season.”

Along with monetary donations made on the TGCO website, donors can also purchase items donated to the TGCO online Christmas store opening November 21. Items sold in The TGCO Christmas Store are generously provided by businesses and individuals, and new items will be listed regularly, so donors are encouraged to visit TGCO’s website often, Abraham said.

Donors can also give their time by helping TGCO vet candidates, solicit nominations and raise awareness of the organization’s mission this season and in years to come. New volunteer recruitment begins November 1 on TGCO’s Facebook page in coordination with media partners.

To make a donation or to nominate a driver and his or her family, visit All nominations are anonymous and open to professional CDL drivers living in the United States and Canada.

Businesses and individuals who want to contribute to The Christmas Store should contact Mark Abraham at for additional information.

Donors can also visit TGCO on Facebook and Twitter

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