Today’s Pickup: FMCSA program allows carriers to dispute crash responsibility

Carriers believe the way FMCSA scores crashes under CSA unfairly penalizes carriers for crashes that not preventable.

Good day,

Following years of complaints from the trucking industry that carriers are unfairly penalized for crashes that are not the driver’s fault, FMCSA is launching a 2-year demonstration program that allows carriers to dispute the findings of a crash.

As of Aug. 1, carriers can submit a “Request for Data Review (RDR)” as part of the Crash Preventability Demonstration Program. Crashes eligible for the program must have occurred on or after June 1, 2017, the agency said.

FMCSA will review RDRs and if it is determined that the crash was not preventable, a notification of the preliminary determination will be posted on DataQs for 30 days. During this time, anyone with documentation or data to refute the preliminary determination may go to DataQs and submit documentation that should be considered before a final determination is made.

FMCSA’s Safety Measurement System (SMS) will display the final determinations of reviewed crashes.

All reviewed crashes will receive one of the following determinations:

Not Preventable: The crash will appear on the public display of SMS with a notation that reads “FMCSA reviewed this crash and determined that it was not preventable.” The Crash Indicator BASIC on the motor carrier and enforcement views of SMS will display calculations with and without the not preventable crashes.

Preventable: The crash will appear on the public display of SMS with a notation that reads “FMCSA reviewed this crash and determined that it was preventable.”

Undecided: If the documentation provided with the RDR does not allow for a conclusive determination, the crash will appear on the public display of SMS with a notation that reads “FMCSA reviewed this crash and could not make a preventability determination based on the evidence provided.”

Did you know?

The Ford Model TT pickup was born 100 years ago today. It was a beefed-up frame under a Model T body, allowing it to carry heavier loads. By 1928, Ford had sold 1.3 million Model TTs before replacing the truck with the Model AA with a 1.5-ton chassis.


“[Ford] Model AA trucks in particular had a certain class to them. Customers could use them on the farm, yet still take them to church on Sunday.”

Bob Kreipke, Ford historian

In other news:

Happy birthday to the Ford pickup

One hundred years ago today Ford beefed up the Model T frame, giving birth to the first pickup, the Model TT. (

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Some studies indicate that companies are re-shoring manufacturing services. But there are other studies that say this isn’t happening as much as people believe. The question becomes, are companies re-shoring or simply optimizing their supply chains? (Supply Chain Review)

Final Thoughts

FMCSA’s decision to allow carriers to dispute crash findings, if even only a pilot program, is finally a step in the right direction for carriers, who for too long have been penalized under CSA for crashes their drivers had no way to prevent.

Hammer down everyone!

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.