Thursday, June 20, 2013

Carrier and Driver Safety Performance

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Safety Measurement System (SMS) measures the on-road safety performance of carriers and drivers to identify candidates for safety interventions, to determine the specific safety problems exhibited by a carrier and its drivers, and to monitor whether safety problems are improving or getting worse.

The SMS uses a motor carrier’s data from roadside inspections, including all safety-based violations, state-reported crashes, and the Federal motor carrier census to quantify performance in the following Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs). Below is a list of the BASICs and sample violations:

Unsafe Driving:
Operation of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) by drivers in a dangerous or careless manner. Example of violations: speeding, reckless driving, improper lane change, and inattention.

Hours-of-Service Compliance:
Operation of CMVs by drivers who are ill, fatigued, or in noncompliance with the HOS regulations. The BASICS includes violations of regulations pertaining to log books as they relate to the HOS requirements and the management of CMV driver fatigue. Example violations include: HOS, log book, and operating a CMV while ill or fatigued.

Driver Fitness:
Operation of CMVs by drivers who are unfit to operate a CMV due to lack of training, experience, or medical qualifications. Example violations: Failure to have a valid and appropriate commercial driver's license and being medically unqualified to operate a CMV.

Controlled Substances/Alcohol:
Operation of CMVs by drivers who are impaired due to alcohol, illegal drugs, and misuse of prescription or over-the-counter medications. Example violations: Use or possession of controlled substances/alcohol.

Vehicle Maintenance:
Failure to properly maintain a CMV and prevent shifting loads. Example violations: Brakes, lights, and other mechanical defects, improper load securement, and failure to make required repairs.

Hazardous Materials (HM) Compliance:
Histories or patterns of high crash involvement, including frequency and severity. It is based on information from state-reported crashes.

Crash Indicator:
History or patterns of high crash involvement, including frequency and severity.  It is based on information from state-reported crashes.

A carrier’s measurement for each BASIC depends on the number of adverse safety events (violations related to the BASIC or crashes), the severity of violations or crashes and when the adverse safety events occurred (more recent events are weighted more heavily).

After a measurement is determined, the carrier is then placed in a safety event group of carriers with similar number of inspections.  Percentiles from 0 – 100 are then determined by comparing the BASIC measurement of the carrier to the measurement of other carriers in the safety event group.  100 indicates the worst performance.


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