The Safety Measurement System (SMS), a program operated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), gathers information about commercial drivers to prioritize those who require a safety intervention. Drivers chosen for intervention will first receive a letter explaining the reasons along with any specific actions the agency plans to take. The goal is to correct unsafe driving behaviors as early as possible or get certain drivers off the road if necessary.
The SMS updates monthly
The SMS updates its system with driver safety information once each month. It obtains a snapshot of all available data by the third or last Friday each month and uploads it to the semi-public website. It takes the SMS approximately 10 business days to update and validate the data after obtaining the monthly snapshot. For the remainder of 2019, the SMS plans data snapshot dates of Friday, October 25 and Friday, November 29. The data would then be available for viewing the approximate weeks of November 4 and December 9.
Who can view information on the SMS website?
Commercial drivers can view their own safety records at any time by following the information listed on the FMCSA website labeled Order Your Safety Record. You may obtain your driver data through the Pre-Employment Screening Program or the Freedom of Information Act. If you feel that your driver safety record contains inaccurate information, you can challenge it using resources on the same page.
Current and prospective employers can view the information contained in the SMS if they have a company name, MC Number, or number issued by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT). The information is also available to law enforcement professionals.
Prior to 2015, members of the public could see data for all seven BASIC driver categories. This changed with the FAST Act to include only the following:
- Crash and inspection data
- Investigation results
- Measures for all public-facings BASICs
That means that data from the hazardous materials and crash indicator BASICs are no longer available to the public. The FMCSA states that the measures used to determine these two categories comes from safety data directly and that it doesn’t use this data to determine a ranking percentile against other carriers.
Anyone who wishes to use the SMS system must first register and receive the proper long-in credentials before using it for the first time.
Use SMS resources to improve
The SMS provides numerous resources for drivers to help them understand each BASIC category as well as improve if they need to. You just need to click on a tab with the name of the BASIC you want to learn more about to view a one-page factsheet. Studying this information and committing to top performance in each category is the best way to ensure a consistently positive ranking.
Remember that insurance needs change too.
Just as your record with the SMS updates monthly, your insurance needs can also change with time and circumstances. Our team of truck insurance experts can help you get the right insurance for your business – just fill out our online form, call us, or message us on LiveChat. We’re here to help with your big rig insurance needs.