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Federal Safety Measurement System for Truck & Bus Companies Shown to be Effective

Posted on behalf of Harbin & Burnett on Oct 13, 2015 in Truck Accidents

motor carrier safety rulesBus and truck accidents can be devastating, causing the most severe injuries among traffic accidents and often resulting in multiple-vehicle crashes. Smaller vehicles cant match the size of big rigs, and in such collisions, passenger vehicle occupants are at much higher risk of fatality and injury than commercial drivers.

In order to curb the frequency of these incidents, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) instituted a Compliance Safety Accountability (CSA) program to identify high-risk truck and bus companies. These measures will go into effect this December.

Congress expressed concerns about whether the FMCSA has reliable data to properly make these assessments. The agency recently released a report confirming their Safety Measurement System (SMS) is sufficient to identify high-risk commercial carriers.

The SMS is an assessment tool using data collected from roadside inspections, crash reports and investigations to reveal any safety violations. The overall assessment is divided into seven Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs).


  • Unsafe Driving Examples include speeding, texting and driving, not wearing safety belts.
  • Crash Indicators An historical pattern of crashes including severity of crashes.
  • Hours-of-Service Compliance Violations include fatigued drivers or allowing a driver to drive in excess of 11 hours.
  • Vehicle Maintenance Inoperative brakes, lights or other mechanical failures revealed at inspection.
  • Controlled Substances or Alcohol Abuse Use of controlled substances or alcohol by drivers while driving, or failure of company to implement testing program
  • Hazardous Materials Compliance Examples include leaking containers, improper labeling, and unsecured packages
  • Driver Fitness Failing to have valid commercial drivers license, or failing to maintain files on driver qualifications

Truck and bus companies that perform poorly on their SMS assessment will be identified as high-risk and passed onto the FMCSA for intervention. The intervention can range from a written warning to a demand for the company to cease all motor vehicle operations.

If you have been a victim of a bus or truck accident, contact Harbin and Burnett today. You need experienced South Carolina truck accident attorneys on your side. We will work to get the maximum compensation you are entitled to.

Call to (888) 821-0247 for a FREE case evaluation today.

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