From the very first day in drivers education when every driver turns 15, the thought is pushed into our brains to “drive defensively”. Many of the people out on the road today do follow that rule, but to what extent is it that we are too defensive behind the wheel? Or is it defensive driving at all, maybe it is just using common sense when sharing the road.
Recently ATA (American Trucking Association) put out an article about the recent decision that the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) made to continue to hold the trucking industry responsible for every truck-involved crash. These crashes end up going on to the CSA reports, even those that the truck driver wasn’t responsible for.
When most brokers are hiring a carrier they will check out the driver’s CSA score through a Carrier Monitoring System (such as CACCI), this ensures the broker that their load will get to its destination in a timely and fashionable matter. But if the carrier has a low CSA rating because it has been in three crashes due to non commercial drivers texting and driving, drunk drivers or even just icy roads, this truly hurts the carrier. All three crashes are not their fault, but the carriers end up losing money in the long run.
ATA and other trucking industry groups have requested that FMSCA develop a process where the police report is reviewed and determine the crash accountability. In addition to that, removing non-preventable crashes from the carrier’s CSA profile. It appears that after some pressure from special interest groups, FMCSA has put a halt to this action until further notice.
FMCSA did some research and found that when driver actions are cited as a main reason for a car-truck crash, that the driver of the smaller vehicle is cited in the majority of cases. So, this brings us back to the original point of driving defensively, are the non-commercial drivers being too defensive on the roads or just not using common sense?