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Tractor-Trailer Safety Data Effective In Identifying High-Risk Companies

On October 8, 2015, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released a report that analyzed data regarding the safety performance of interstate motor carriers, confirming that the data used in its Safety Measurement System (SMS) is clearly sufficient for the identification of high-risk trucking and bus companies. The agency concluded that SMS effectively identifies truck companies involved in 90% of the crashes that occur every year. Those identified through SMS as high-risk carriers have crash rates that are about twice the national average.

The report considered carriers of various sizes, as directed by Congress. The report concluded there was no significant difference in actual crash rates between small carriers and those with 20 or more roadside inspections.

SMS is a tool for prioritizing high-risk truck and bus companies for possible enforcement interventions.

By Michael L. Roberts