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Truckers Contesting Counting of Trucking Accidents

Any accident involving a truck is often a very serious matter. With so much traffic in the Austin area, it is difficult for both 18-wheelers and other vehicles to perform the quick maneuvers necessary to avoid an accident. Even the most experienced truck driver may not be able to control his or her vehicle, as the size and speed of the vehicles mean that they will need time and space to come to a complete stop.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the federal agency tasked with reducing the number of dangerous truck accidents on our nation's roads, implemented "Compliance, Safety, Accountability" (CSA 2010). CSA 2010 had several new requirements for truck drivers and trucking companies, designed to improve driving habits and encourage better vehicle maintenance.

One of the requirements of CSA 2010 concerned counting the number of trucking accidents, Under the program, every accident involving a tractor-trailer counts toward the crash accountability of a driver or carrier. Drivers or carriers may be taken off of the road if their crash accountability score is poor.

The industry had hoped to work together with the FMSCA to develop a system that would eliminate trucking accidents that were unavoidable or not the fault of the truck driver. However, the FSMCA announced that it would not exclude any of these accidents from the score system.

The agency was reluctant to simply rely upon police accident reports; it felt that doing so would prevent victims or insurance companies from providing evidence regarding the cause of a trucking accident. The process proposed by the trucking industry would not even inform the others involved in the crash that such a review was occurring.

Officials want to give the CSA 2010 time before making such a major change. Excluding accidents could skew the number of reported crashes, making it difficult to know exactly how many truck accidents are happening.

Source: Truckinginfo, "3/21/2012 ATA: Common Sense Must Govern CSA Crash Accountability Decisions"

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