The FMCSA’s Crash Preventability Determination Program (CPDP) Expands

After a decade of trucking companies citing that the government unfairly counted crashes against their safety record that were not their fault, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration unveiled a permanent Crash Preventability Determination Program (CPDP).  This will expand upon a pilot program that evaluated the effects of not counting a crash in which a motor carrier was not at fault when calculating the carrier’s safety measurement profile.

It also is expanding the types of crashes that may be considered.

The Purpose of the Crash Preventability Determination Program:

The purpose of the Crash Preventability Determination Program is to more accurately classify the data surrounding commercial vehicle crashes. If a truck was involved in a crash deemed “not preventable” on or after Aug. 1, 2019, that incident may be reviewed and potentially stricken from the carrier’s Crash Indicator Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC) measure in the Safety Measurement System.

The Details of the Program:

  • Eligible crash types have been expanded, to include the 15 total crash types proposed in the August 2019 notice. However, the 15 eligible crash types have been rearranged and like crash events have been grouped together. The result is 10 categories of crashes that are NOW eligible for review:
    • Struck in Rear
    • Wrong Direction or Illegal Turns
    • Parked or Legally Stopped
    • Failure of the other vehicle to stop
    • Under the influence
    • Medical Issues, Falling Asleep, or Distracted Driving
    • Cargo/Equipment/Debris or Infrastructure Failure
    • Animal Strike
    • Suicide
    • Rare or Unusual

(More detailed information on the eligibility requirements may be found here.)

  • FMCSA indicated the possibility of expanding crash types over the next 24 months;
  • All crashes will still be listed on the FMCSA website, but they will include a notation indicating the crash was reviewed and the result of the review;
  • Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP) reports will note crashes that were determined to be “not-preventable”;
  • Crashes can tarnish a driver’s hirability and they are noted on their pre-employment screenings. Through the revised program, fleets and drivers will not be penalized for situations out of their control. SMS scores will not reflect crashes that were reviewed and determined “not-preventable”;
  • Motor Carrier’s list of crashes on the public SMS website will reflect “not preventable”, “preventable”, and “undecided”;
  • The new FMCSA website includes frequently asked questions and tools to help submitters complete the RDR process in DataQs. It will be updated quarterly to provide information on the RDRs received and reviewed by the agency.

Action Steps for Fleets or Drivers Who Want Crashes Considered/Re-Evaluated:

  • Must have eligible crash that occurred on or after Aug. 1, 2019.
  • Submit Request for Data Review (RDR) on the FMCSA’s DataQs website –
  • The RDR should include the required police accident report along with any supporting documents such as photos or dash cam videos. The RDR is the single most reliable source for crash information. This has been validated numerous times through research conducted by FMCSA and other institutions.

The trucking industry is happy to see this permanent program come to fruition and being expanded. Trucking stakeholders will continue to work with the FMCSA to encourage further improvements to the determination program, as well as significant changes to the overall CSA/SMS program.