The way we track the safety records of trucking companies will be undergoing some changes in the near future and Missouri is at the forefront of the transition. Our state is helping to test the new Comprehensive Safety Analysis, or CSA, which will replace the current programs in use by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to evaluate companies and prevent Missouri tractor trailer crashes.
The evaluation process for trucking companies will be very different once the new rules take effect. Currently, a compliance review of a company examines four areas: Driver, Vehicle, Safety Management and Accidents. CSA 2010 expands the number of areas rated to seven and makes them more specifically defined. Companies will now be rated for Unsafe Driving, Fatigued Driving, Driver Fitness, Vehicle Maintenance, Improper Load Securement, Crash History and Alcohol/Drug Abuse Record. This new method should do a better job of pinpointing the exact problem areas that need to be addressed.
Another change is that drivers themselves will be directly measured and given scores independent of their company. For every violation, a weighted score will be given to both the driver and the company based on their level of responsibility and severity of the violation. These scores will stay with drivers as they move from company to company and will hopefully keep the most dangerous drivers off the road before someone is killed or injured in a truck accident they cause.
If a company or driver is given a marginal or unfit rating, they face interventions or suspensions from the FMCSA. The types of interventions will be tailored to the severity of the violation.
Hopefully these new rules will lead to more accountability in the industry. As a St. Louis personal injury lawyer, I have seen countless cases where a company or driver’s negligence has lead to a tragic accident. The small percentage of companies who cause the vast majority of crashes need to be held responsible for their actions.