How Carriers Can Dispute Crashes
As a carrier, did you know you can dispute certain crashes and have them removed from your CSA scores?
Last year, the FMCSA announced the Crash Preventability Demonstration Program. According to this program, the agency can accept requests for data reviews (RDRs) and evaluate the preventability of certain types of crashes. This program is expected to last a minimum of 24 months, so don’t delay your request.
To help you figure out how you can dispute crashes, continue reading on.
Submit Eligible Crashes
When filing your eligible crashes to the FMCSA, make sure that you submit it through the proper process at this website: https://dataqs.fmcsa.dot.gov.
Through the “standard review program”, you can select “Not an FMCSA-reportable crash”. It is meant for crashes that “do not meet the FMCSA’s recordable crash definition of fatality, injury, or property damage requiring a vehicle to be towed from the scene.”
Under the standard review program, your request will be closed without a preventability determination because it was not submitted under the demonstration program.
If you file your crash under the “crash preventability demonstration program”, you will have to make sure that you:
- Select “crash could not be prevented”.
- Make sure that the crash occurred after June 1, 2017.
- Select an eligible crash type.
Eligible Crash Types
According to the FMCSA, these are the crash types that are eligible for review during the pilot program:
- When the commercial motor vehicle (CMV) was struck by a motorist driving under the influence;
- When the CMV was struck by a motorist driving the wrong direction;
- When the CMV was struck in the rear;
- When the CMV was struck while it was legally stopped or parked;
- When the CMV struck an individual committing, or attempting to commit, suicide by getting in front of the CMV;
- When the CMV sustained disabling damage after striking an animal in the road;
- When the crash was the result of an infrastructure failure, falling trees, rocks, or other debris;
- When the CMV was struck by cargo or equipment from another vehicle.
Ineligible Crash Types
Please keep in mind that there are certain crash types that are actually ineligible under the demonstration program. Here are the crash types that do not qualify for review:
- Crashes that do not meet any eligible crash type;
- RDRs asserting the driver who struck the CMV was operating under the influence without proof;
- Crashes identified as “struck by a motorist driving the wrong direction” where it was not deemed accurate;
- Crashes where the CMV was struck in other places than the rear;
- Crashes when vehicles were stopped in traffic and not legally parked;
- RDRs alleging suicide attempts without appropriate supporting evidence;
- RDRs indicating the CMV struck other vehicles that stopped for fallen tree or rocks, but the CMV did not strike the tree or rocks;
- Review requests which state the CMV was struck by equipment or cargo, but the documentation says otherwise.
Once you select the proper submission method for your crash, make sure that you provide the necessary documents and evidence that prove the crash was not preventable.
The Review Process
If the FMCSA determines that a crash could have been preventable, carriers will have the option to re-open the request if they have additional information that could prove non-preventability.
During the review process, the agency can determine that the crash is “preventable”, “not preventable”, or “undecided”. In “undecided” scenarios, a note will be included that states the “FMCSA reviewed this crash and could not make a preventability determination based on the evidence provided.”
If the crash is deemed “not preventable”, it will still appear in the CSA SMS, but will not count against the carrier.
It usually takes around 2 weeks to have a crash reviewed.
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