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April 2023 Significant Rulemaking Report
Mariah Barr
5 mins read

On April 13, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released proposed changes to the Crash Preventability Determination Program (CPDP), which evaluates if a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) crash was preventable. It was originally implemented in 2017 to give companies that employ CDL drivers the opportunity to dispute certain crashes that may have been caused by factors outside of their control.

What is the Crash Preventability Determination Program?

The CPDP allows companies to submit requests to determine the preventability of certain crashes that occurred on or after August 1, 2019. If the agency determines a crash was non-preventable, the motor carrier's Crash Indicator Behavior Analysis Safety Improvement Category (BASIC) in the FMCSA’s Safety Measurement System (SMS) will not be impacted by it.

Related Foley Webinar: The BASICs of DOT Recordkeeping

To qualify for a preventability determination, the crash in question must meet certain criteria. For instance, a crash will not be evaluated if it resulted from an employee driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Specific supportive documentation, like police reports and witness statements, must be submitted with each case as well.

What are the benefits of the CPDP?

By giving companies a chance to dispute crashes that may have been caused by factors outside of their drivers' control, the CPDP helps ensure their federal safety records accurately reflect their safety performance and risk level. The frequency and severity of a company's accidents contribute to its Crash Indicator measurement, which is one of the seven BASIC categories used to calculate its Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) score.

The CPDP also encourages motor carriers to implement safety measures to prevent future crashes. If the root causes of crashes can be identified, safety managers can provide drivers with additional training or decipher if corrective action needs to be taken to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.

Proposed Changes to the CPDP

While the CPDP has been in place for several years, it can be argued that the program is subjective in nature and relies too heavily on the FMCSA's judgment alone.

In an attempt to improve the objectivity of the program, the FMCSA has proposed to expand the 16 current types of eligible crashes to 20, by including the following additional crash classes:

  1. Struck on the side by a driver heading in the same direction
  2. Struck while a driver entered the roadway from a private driveway or parking lot
  3. Struck as a result of another driver losing control of their vehicle
  4. Any other type of CMV crash in which a video recording demonstrates how it occurred

The FMCSA is accepting comments on the proposed changes through June 12th, will review received comments, and provide any final updates to the CPDP in a later Federal Register notice. You can leave your comments here.

Get CSA Score Support from Foley

Have you checked your CSA score lately? If you're not sure how to do so or don't know why you should, relying on Foley should be your next step.

Our Audit Risk Monitor (ARM) program tracks your company's CSA measurement and alerts you to any changes reported to the federal database on a monthly basis. Having a consistent set of eyes on your safety data allows you to see if any crashes are negatively impacting your score. If so, you have an opportunity to use the CPDP to challenge any instances that were out of your drivers' control.

Your CSA score may be higher than you think, which can increase your risk for unexpected DOT audits. Talk to a Foley rep about ARM or request a free demo of our comprehensive DOT compliance software to stay on top of your company's safety performance.

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