American Trucking Associations’ leaders expressed serious concern over the recent decision by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to continue to hold the trucking industry responsible in its CSA program for every truck-involved crash, including those which the truck driver could not have prevented. 

ATA, and other industry groups, had requested—and FMCSA had agreed to develop—a process where police accident reports would be reviewed to determine crash accountability and remove non-preventable crashes from a carrier’s CSA profile. After pressure from some special interest groups who have questioned the reliability of police accident reports, FMCSA now has shelved these plans. Legitimate highway safety stakeholders know that much of this country’s traffic safety research is based on police accident reports.


FMCSA’s research and data find when driver actions are cited as a main reason for a car-truck collision, the driver of the smaller, non-commercial vehicle is cited in a majority of cases.


Under FMCSA’s “blame truck drivers first” policy, carriers have had their CSA scores elevated for these crashes, and many, many others like them:


January 2012 crash involving a Utah State student who was texting and Facebook messaging when she rear-ended a tank truck.

February 2012 crash in Pennsylvania where an SUV traveling the wrong way on Interstate 70 collided with a tractor-trailer traveling in the proper direction.

February 2012 crash in Tennessee where an SUV crossed the median of Interstate 40 and struck a tractor-trailer traveling in the opposite direction.