From the very beginning, the trucking industry, including STC staff, pushed hard for the creation of FMCSA’s Crash Preventability Demonstration Program (shout-out to industry colleague Rob Abbott for his creativity along the way). As we eagerly await a soon-to-be issued FMCSA notice announcing a permanent, expanded program, we thought we’d take a look back and ask, was it worth it? Resoundingly, the answer is YES.
Over the course of two years, FMCSA’s accepted crash review requests from motor carriers who believed a crash they were involved in could not have been prevented. To be eligible, the crash must have fit one of eight narrow scenarios like being struck in the rear or struck while legally parked. FMCSA is now seeking to expand the program because, at least in part, of the resounding success rate for challenged crashes. Overall, 8,188 crashes were submitted, and 7,564 were ruled not-preventable on the part of the commercial motor vehicle driver. That’s a 92% success rate! In reviewing the data, what STC found remarkable was the consistency of these numbers.
Regardless of the crash type or the size or profile of the carrier submitting them, the program worked as intended, resulting in not-preventable determinations with astounding consistency. Since day one, the industry argued that drivers and carriers should not be judged based on crashes they could not have prevented. The demonstration program was a positive step in this direction. The data is clear. It’s time for FMCSA to finalize the expanded program for the benefit of all.