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How can a carrier improve in the Crash Indicator BASIC?

Crash Indicator is one of the seven factors that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) considers when ranking driver safety relative to other drivers who have experienced a similar number of crashes, failed inspections, violations, and related events. It is part of the BASIC program, which stands for Behavioral Analysis and Safety Improvement Category. Currently, the FMCSA allows only law enforcement officials, trucking company management, and the drivers themselves to see Crash Indicator data when logging into its system and searching under the driver’s safety profile.

What criteria does the FMCSA consider under the crash indicator BASIC?

For this BASIC, the FMCSA analyzes patterns and history of involvement in traffic accidents. They especially concentrate on the severity and frequency of driver-involved crashes. When reviewing data from the Crash Indicator BASIC, the FMCSA is not necessarily concerned with a specific behavior but rather the consequences of one or more driver behaviors leading to a crash. This helps the agency determine a pattern of unsafe behavior that could require the need for intervention. Crashes reported by state law enforcement officials increase a driver’s percentile under this BASIC because it indicates less compliance.

How to check your Crash Indicator BASIC standing.

The FMCSA-operated Safety Management System (SMS) bears responsibility for determining a driver’s percentile ranking for each of the seven BASICs. Online information indicates each driver’s percentile rank compared to similar drivers as well as information about each crash. To locate your details, follow the instructions posted on the SMS website. If the FMCSA has concerns about your performance in the Crash Indicator BASIC, you will see a warning symbol next to your listing. If you feel the listing is inaccurate, you have the right to request a review through the DataQs program.

Improving your performance in the Crash Indicator BASIC.

Before you can improve your performance, you need to know the specific violations recorded by SMS. You should pay special attention to any state-reported crashes since these increase your percentile rank and make it more likely that the FMCSA will select you for future intervention. It’s also important to understand that the FMCSA assesses your standing based on the number of crashes you have been involved in, when and how they occurred, and the severity of each crash.

Complying with FMCSRs and keeping MCS-150 forms updated can help to improve your ranking in this category. Motor carriers should educate all drivers on how to operate the vehicle safely to avoid crashes whenever possible. Periodically quizzing drivers on safety regulations and driving practices is a good way to ensure their understanding and compliance.

Keep in mind that adverse safety events only affect your percentile ranking and priority for FMCSA intervention for 24 months. The more time that passes, the less weight the agency gives to a crash. Knowing that, it’s important to take every precaution to avoid another crash soon after your first.

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