Frequently Asked Questions
The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are questions and answers about Compliance,
Safety, Accountability (CSA) that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
(FMCSA) compiled to assist the public. As questions come in through the website,
FMCSA adds them to the database along with their answers. If you do not see your
question or topic addressed, please
by submitting a feedback form. We will respond to you directly and consider your
question for inclusion in the FAQs.
The FAQ area has recently been enhanced. Users can now search FAQs by stakeholder
group, topics (displayed on the left side of the page), or by entering a keyword
below. Choosing “Show All” will display the entire collection of FAQs.
How does the Safety Measurement System (SMS) handle crashes when motor carriers
are not at fault?
The structure of the new SMS is such that the motor carrier’s role in the crash
(i.e. preventability) is not automatically determined or considered. In fact, recordable
crash reports that States submit to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
(FMCSA) does not include the motor carrier’s role in the crash. Consequently, motor
carriers are identified for possible intervention based on recordable crashes without
consideration of the motor carrier’s role.
Why does FMCSA take this approach? This approach is taken because data analysis
has historically shown that motor carriers who are involved in crashes, regardless
of the motor carrier’s role, are likely to be involved in more future crashes than
carriers who are not. Put simply, past crashes are a good predictor of future crashes.