The FMCSA Safety Measurement System Better Identifies High Risk Carriers

According to a recent performance study, the FMCSA’s Safety Measurement System (SMS) is more effective at identifying high risk operators than the previous measurement system.

Two years of pre-SMS data was taken from a subset of carriers.  The historical data was then compared to future crash data and tracked for a period of 18 months.  The resulting analysis indicated that the algorithms used by the SMS would have identified risks and the need for interventions such as road side inspections, on-site investigations and warning letters.

The results also showed that 79% of the carriers identified as high risk, in at least one of the designated safety categories, had a higher future crash rate as compared to the carriers that were not identified for CSA interventions.

The SMS is designed to cover the full range of safety-based regulations with which motor carriers must comply. The system uses safety performance data to rank each carrier’s relative performance in the following Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs): Unsafe Driving, Hours-of-Service (HOS) Compliance, Driver Fitness, Controlled Substances/Alcohol, Vehicle Maintenance, and Hazardous Material (HM) Compliance, as well as crash involvement (Crash Indicator).

For a copy of the full report conducted by the Volpe Center please click here.


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