New ATRI Research Quantifies Impact of Non-Preventable Crashes on CSA Scores

Contact: Dan Murray
(651) 641-6162
November 10, 2015


Arlington, VA – The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) today released its latest CSA research, Assessing the Impact of Non-Preventable Crashes on CSA Scores. In this analysis, ATRI investigated the impact that excluding non-preventable crashes would have on motor carrier CSA Crash Indicator BASIC measures. The analysis used carrier crash records, mapped to the FMCSA’s Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS) database, to identify a small and non-controversial subset of non-preventable crashes with the following causes:

  • Animal collision
  • Other vehicle hits legally parked truck
  • Other vehicle ran a stop light / sign and hit a truck
  • The driver of the other vehicle was DUI
  • Truck-assisted suicide

The ATRI analysis then removed these crashes and “recalculated” the Crash Indicator BASIC measure. Among the more than one dozen carriers in ATRI’s analysis, the Crash Indicator BASIC decreased nearly 15 percent once the non-preventable crash subset was removed.

“The trucking industry has identified a number of flaws in FMCSA’s calculation of carrier safety performance through the CSA BASICs and perhaps none is more egregious than the inclusion of non-preventable crashes in the Crash Indicator BASIC. ATRI’s latest analysis, using a very conservative definition of non-preventable crashes, demonstrates just how skewed FMCSA’s BASIC calculations can be,” said Scott Mugno, a member of ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee as well as Vice President of Safety and Maintenance for FedEx Ground.

Beyond CSA BASIC score impacts, these non-preventable crashes exact a toll on motor carriers and commercial drivers. ATRI’s analysis documents these impacts in detail, including real-world crash examples collected from the industry. ATRI also estimates non-preventable crash costs that exceed $68 million for the 15 carriers in the analysis.

A copy of this report is available here.

ATRI is the trucking industry’s 501(c)(3) not-for-profit research organization. It is engaged in critical research relating to freight transportation’s essential role in maintaining a safe, secure and efficient transportation system.

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