Not all CSA scores related to crash risk: report

October 17, 2012

Arlington, VA – Carrier scores in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability program have mixed relationships with actual crash risk, according to a study released online Oct. 1 by the American Transportation Research Institute. ATRI is the research arm of the American Trucking Associations.

Researchers studied a sample of crash data from more than 470,000 motor carriers for five of the intervention categories in CSA’s Safety Measurement System. Although three categories – Unsafe Driving, Fatigued Driving and Vehicle Maintenance – had “strong” relationships with crash risk, two categories – Controlled Substances and Alcohol and Driver Fitness – were found to be inversely related to crash risk.

Researchers concluded that for these two categories, FMCSA may be overweighing “safety-irrelevant” violations and not placing enough emphasis on “safety-critical” violations.

In a press release responding to the report, FMCSA stated that it agreed that the Driver Fitness category “does not in and of itself indicate a high crash risk,” but noted that three-fourths of carriers that surpass the threshold for Driver Fitness also exceeded the threshold in at least one other category.