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All Press Releases for January 04, 2014 »
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FMCSA program may result in fewer truck accidents

Over the last decade, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has seen a drop in the number of serious truck accidents across the U.S.
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    January 04, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Over the last decade, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has seen a drop in the number of serious truck accidents across the U.S. Despite this drop, however, truck accidents remain a significant safety concern and the agency continues to take steps to reduce the incidence of accidents. Recently, the FMCSA announced that trucking and bus companies using one of its programs are seeing fewer crashes than those who do not use it.

The specific program at issue is the FMCSA's Pre-Employment Screening Program, also known as PSP. PSP is a system developed by the FMCSA that allows potential employers to access data about job applicants' safety records. For a small fee, potential employers receive a report outlining information about crashes and violations of federal safety rules.

According to the FMCSA, motor carriers that use the PSP system saw an overall eight percent drop in crash rate, though larger companies saw significantly more benefit. Carriers with between six and 20 drivers saw their crash numbers drop by 20.6 percent, while carriers with between 21 and 100 drivers saw a 21.1 percent decrease. Since the system began distributing information in May 2010, the FMCSA has seen a steady increase in the number of requests. Currently, the agency receives approximately 70,000 requests for reports each month.

The PSP was created after a federal law was passed requiring the FMCSA to provide pre-employment safety information to trucking companies. The system contains about 3.5 million records, though the numbers vary slightly as numbers are refreshed. Each report provided by the FMCSA outlines an applicant's crash data for the previous five years and inspection data for the previous three years.

With the release of these numbers, the PSP is sure to see a further increase in users over the next couple years. The information the system provides is essential for trucking companies because it helps them predict whether a particular driver poses a serious risk to others on the road. Over time, the system will become more efficient in identifying potentially dangerous drivers based not only on crash data, but also on past violations of federal safety regulations.

The creation of this kind of system may seem like a small step, but it plays an essential role in ensuring that those behind the wheel of large commercial vehicles are staying safe. The more that drivers follow federal safety rules, the less likely they are to be involved in serious accidents.

Article provided by Portner Bond, PLLC
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