BMW I3 And BMW I3s All Electric Car Models

The German car company, BMW, known for producing luxury cars, also has some electric cars out on the market.  The most recent models of BMW i3 and BMW i3s are all-electric luxury SUVs with a compact 5-seater, designed primarily for urban and suburban traveling. Both models have an enhanced 120Ah battery, which provides an all-electric range of up to almost 160 miles. Both the BMW i3 and BMW i3s are also available with an optional 650cc, twin-cylinder petrol engine for increasing range.

The difference between the BMW i3 and BMW i3s is subtle. Sport additions to the BMW i3s include altered steering, updates to the traction and stability controls, a lowered sport suspension, and a ‘sport’ driving mode which increases accelerator response. The BMW i3 accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in less than 8 seconds.  The BMW i3s sprints slightly faster at 6.9 seconds. The BMW i3 and i3s have a 170 hp electric motor mounted on the rear axle to drive the rear wheels and the top speed of the car clocks in at 93 mph.

The all-electric BMW i3 was the first zero-emission, mass-produced car made by BMW and came out in 2013.  The car has had great success since then.  The BMW i3 ranked third among electric vehicles sold globally from 2014 to 2016.  Sales reached 50,000 units in 2016 and surpassed 70,000 in 2017 when the BMW i3 became the world’s third best selling electric car.  Currently, BMW comes in fourth in rank of electric car companies with 129,000 units sold in 2018.

Recently BMW has introduced its wireless charging system for its electric car models to facilitate a quicker charge and zero cords and plug-ins needed.  Compared to the plug-in charge which takes 8 hours for a full charge, the wireless system takes less than just 3 hours to charge to full capacity.  The charging system works via two main components: a recharging coil fitted in the floor of the car and a floor-mounted base plate fitted with another coil. To charge the vehicle, all the driver needs to do is park their BMW i model over the metal plate so that the two coils are positioned directly above each other. The electric charge is then transmitted via an electromagnetic field generated by the electric coils, charging the battery quickly and effectively.

The 2019 model of BMW i3 starts at $44,450. The price for the 2019 model of the BMW i3s starts at $47,650.  Although it may be one of the highest starting prices among small luxury cars, the BMW i models are one of the few all-electric sports cars available out there in the market.  If you are interested in a few add-ons such as a more powerful motor and/or range-extending small gasoline engine the price can climb as high as $59,000.

Speed Limiter Rule For Truckers

Since 2016 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) have been working on getting a rule passed regarding the mandatory installation of speed limiters for commercial trucks.  While the rule has been outlined, the top speed options have varied between 60, 65, and 68.  The rule, however, seemed to have sputtered out after failing to get final approval from two previous presidential administrations.

Now, however, recently safety lobbyists are trying to push for the speed limiter rule and are taking the case straight to the Congress this time, using crash statistics and an economic business case to prove their point.  Lobbyists’ Road Safe America and the Truck Safety Coalition have come together to appeal to Congress to pass legislation requiring all heavy-duty trucks use both speed limiters as well as install automatic emergency braking (AEB).

Speed limiters are already built into most standard commercial trucks manufactured since the mid-1990s.  They would just need to be simply turned on and set by the companies.  Unlike many other countries such as France, UK, Germany, and Australia, The United States does not require the speed limiters to be turned on.  Lobbyists feel that through requiring commercial trucks to set and use the speed limiters feature, it would significantly reduce the severity of injuries and fatalities of people involved in large truck accidents.

In addition to increased safety and decreased large truck accidents, there could be several other benefits of using speed limiters in the trucking industry such as gained fuel savings and better brake and tire wear. This could potentially help trucking companies become more profitable and efficient, as less time, hassle, and money would be wasted in repairs.

One downside to the potential speed limiter requirement in trucks is the absence of a national speed limit in The United States.  Depending on local speed limits in different areas, trucks with active speed limiters may end up moving much slower than the other traffic around them.  Unfortunately, this could potentially be a safety hazard which could actually cause more accidents, instead of reducing them.  As long as there is no fixed national speed limit in our country, a potential law requiring trucks to activate their speed limiters could end up contributing to accidents instead of preventing them in the long run.

O2 Turns On 5G For Autonomous Vehicles

O2, the second-largest mobile network operator in the United Kingdom, plans to turn on a 5G network in June this year, 2019, to facilitate the test driving of autonomous cars at Millbrook Testing Ground in Bedfordshire, United Kingdom.  In addition, O2 also announced its plans to turn on 5G networks later this year in four different locations in the United Kingdom; Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, and London.

Millbrook Proving Ground was founded in 1960 and is one of the largest vehicle testing centers in Europe.  It has 70km of varied test tracks, including hill routes, high-speed areas, and challenging off-road courses.  Millbrook is known as a testing ground where a lot of big autonomous and connected vehicle manufacturers put their cars through their paces, including Oxbotica, Street drone, and Five.ai. 

O2 will enable 5G connectivity at Millbrook’s testing facilities from June 2019, using its 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz spectrum.  The on-site network consists of 59 sites and 89 small cells and is operated by British wireless solution provider Dense Air. Under a 12-month agreement with the AutoAir project, O2 will integrate the sites and small cells into its public infrastructure.

According to Mobile Europe, Brendan O’Reilly, chief technology officer of O2, said, “5G will play a key role in how our country develops over the next few years. If implemented properly, 5G has the potential to drive economic growth, create jobs and enable a new host of technologies – including self-driving vehicles.”

FMCSA Reduces Cost For Truckers To Upgrade From Class B CDL To Class A

In March of this year the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) announced a final rule which makes it easier and reduces the costs for truckers to upgrade from a Class B to a Class A CDL (commercial driver’s license.)  The previous rule required the same level of theory training for individuals obtaining a CDL for the first time as for those drivers who just wanted to upgrade their Class B CDL to a Class A CDL. 

According to the Federal Registration Government website, “The FMCSA has amended the entry-level-driver training (ELDT) regulations published on December 8th, 2016, titled “Minimum Training Requirements for Entry-Level Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators” by adopting a new Class A theory instruction upgrade curriculum to reduce the training time and costs incurred by Class B commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders upgrading to a Class A CDL.”   

The FMCSA feels that this change in theory training requirements for Class B CDL holders wishing to upgrade their licenses to Class A, will maintain the same level of safety in the industry. The FMCSA said it doesn’t make sense for those drivers that already have experience in the industry and choose to upgrade their license have to go through the same requirements as new drivers getting a commercial driving license for the first time.

“This effort is a common-sense way of reducing the regulatory burdens placed on CDL applicants and their employers.  FMCSA continues to strategically reform burdensome regulations to improve the lives of ordinary Americans by saving them valuable time and money – while simultaneously maintaining the highest level of safety,” said FMCSA Administrator Raymond P. Martinez.

The FMCSA also expects be able to reduce the annual cost savings by $18 million dollars.  Eligible driver trainees and motor carriers will be greatly benefited by this reduced cost.  FMCSA estimates that over 11,000 driver-trainees will benefit annually by this rule and see an average reduction of 27 hours in time spent completing their theory instruction.  This results in substantial time and cost savings to these driver-trainees, as well as to the motor carriers that employ these drivers.

The ELD Mandate: Pros And Cons

What is the ELD Mandate?

The ELD mandate was congressionally mandated as part of the MAP-21 in 2012 by the United States Congress.  The MAP-21, “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century” bill, outlined the criteria for highway funding and included a provision requiring the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) to develop a rule mandating the use of electronic logging devices (ELDs).  The bill is intended to help create a safer work environment for drivers, and make it easier and faster to accurately track, manage, and share records of duty status (RODS) data. 

How does an ELD work?

An ELD, electronic logging device, synchronizes with the vehicle’s engine; thereby capturing data on off/on status of the engine, whether the vehicle is moving, miles are driven, and duration of engine operation (engine hours).  ELDs automatically record driving time, for easier, more accurate hours of service (HOS) recording.  ELDs essentially replace paper HOS log books.

Who must comply with the ELD Mandate?

In essence, any motor carriers or drivers who are required to keep records of duty service (RODS) MUST comply with the ELD mandate. 

Who is exempt from the ELD Mandate?

According to the FMCSA’s website, the only exemption to the ELD mandate is:

 “Drivers who use the time card exception, and don’t keep paper RODs, will NOT be required to use ELDs.

The following drivers may keep PAPER RODS:

  • Drivers who keep RODS no more than 8 days during any 30-day period.
  • Drive away-tow away drivers (transporting a vehicle for sale, lease, or repair),    provided the vehicle driven is part of the shipment or the vehicle being transported is a motor home or recreational vehicle trailer.
  • Drivers of vehicles manufactured before the model year 2000. However, a carrier can choose to use an ELD, even if it is not required.”

What is the deadline to comply with the ELD Mandate?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published the final electronic logging device rule — or ELD Mandate – in December 2015, and the first deadline to comply passed in December 2017.  Fleets had until December 2017 to implement certified ELDs to record HOS.  Those that were already equipped with electronic logging technology (AOBRDs) before December 2017, have until December 2019 to make the switch over to ELD compliant devices.

What are the Advantages of ELDs?

1.    Reduce idling

  • Save money otherwise wasted on fuel guzzled due to idling.
  • Reduce maintenance costs caused by idling.
  • Protect the environment by using less fossil fuel.

2.    Improve driving skills

  • Use ELDs to monitor and improve employee’s driving habits.
  • Reduce speeding
  • Reduce aggressive breaking habits

3.    Avoid Driver Fatigue

  • Reduce driver fatigue through ensuring drivers don’t exceed HOS.
  • Decrease the chances of accidents due to driver fatigue

4.    Slash insurance costs

  • Reduced accidents equal to reduced insurance costs for your company.
  • Automatically ensure drivers don’t exceed HOS, thereby eliminating driving violations which cost companies higher premiums.
  • ELD devices can provide the insurance industry with additional data to consider when determining risk models. This can reduce the impact CSA scores have on insurance premiums.

5. Eliminate Paperwork

  • Save time by eliminating paperwork associated with the HOS of drivers.
  • Reduce hassle and discrepancies associated with HOS paper logs
  • Law enforcement can easily review a driver’s HOS by viewing the ELD’s display screen
  • More accurate and faster delivery of paychecks since drivers’ hours are tracked and sent electronically.

What are the Disadvantages of ELDs?

1. ELDs can be Expensive

  • Keeping HOS records on paper logs was virtually free of cost; minus the few dollars yearly spent on notebooks.
  • The cost of the ELD device itself plus installation and monthly fees takes a large chunk out of truckers’ budgets.

2. Privacy Concerns

  • While it’s not required for ELD devices to have real-time tracking, motor carriers may use GPS technology along with ELD devices for business purposes to track their fleet in real-time. Some truckers feel this is invasive of their privacy.

3. Limited Editing Possibilities

  • If a driver uses multiple ELDs that are not compatible, the driver must either enter the missing duty status information in the ELD currently being used or provide a printout from the other system(s) for the relevant days, causing more hassle and time-consuming work to the driver.

4. Learning Curve and Troubleshooting

  • Fleet managers, drivers, dispatchers, and law enforcement will all need to be trained and learn how to either install and/or use ELD devices, systems, and Apps.
  • Troubleshooting ELD devices and Apps when something goes wrong can be time-consuming and stressful, especially for drivers who are out on the road.

5. Decreased availability of parking spaces due to drivers being subject to comply with HOS Regulations.

  • Parking spaces are now occupied longer around sunset and daybreak, causing the driver’s difficulty in finding parking spaces when they need to stop driving for the day.
  • Drivers are forced to park in dangerous or illegal parking spaces.
  • Drivers are forced to pay money for reserved parking spaces; for which prices are climbing.

6. ELDs must be purchased only through FMCSA certified manufactures

  • According to the FMCSA website, “Motor carriers and drivers must choose only ELDs that are certified and registered on FMCSA’s website, as other devices may not be compliant.”  Carriers must be alert and attentive to make sure they don’t breach any FMCSA laws when purchasing their ELD devices.

MatrackInc.com provides easy to use electronic logbook devices for trucks that allow drivers to log DOT compliant HOS, claim unassigned driving hours, voice-based ELD status change, low fuel notifications, and effective accident reporting.

3 Ways For Fleet Managers To Keep Drivers Happy

Truck driver shortages are on the rise and there is no end to it in sight.  It’s expected that the truck driver storage may even triple by 2026. The truck driver turn-over rate with large carriers (those with more than $27 million in annual revenue) went up in the second quarter of 2018, rising 4 percentage points to an annualized rate of 98%. So how exactly can fleet managers keep their truckers happy and satisfied with their jobs and avoid high turnover rates?

Understand and respect your drivers

In any field of occupation, respect is essential to keeping employees happy and loyal to the company.  According to the Harvard Business Review, those employees that get respect from their leaders reported an 89% greater enjoyment and satisfaction with their jobs and they were also 1.1 times more likely to stay with their organizations than those who didn’t. It’s essential for truck drivers to feel that they have the support and respect from their managers that they deserve.  Fleet managers should understand the difficult conditions that drivers work in and offer ways for drivers to provide feedback about their experiences to their managers.  Anonymous surveys are a great way to get honest responses from drivers and can help fleet managers to see how to rectify the challenging situations drivers face while on the job.

Provide drivers with user-friendly technology

With the ELD mandate, there have been a lot of changes recently in the trucking world.  For many drivers, the switch from paper to electronic logs may be a difficult change, especially for those who are not very familiar with the technology.  Many drivers may be very skilled and experienced, but due to their lack of confidence with technology, they may even have doubts if the trucking business is still for them.  As fleet managers, make sure you provide them with access to user-friendly ELD compliant systems and ample training for drivers, each at their own individual pace, to learn these new systems.  At Matrack we understand drivers’ concerns about technology and we are here to provide drivers with easy to use ELD compliant devices and Apps and 24/7 friendly and reliable technical support.

Offer incentives to your drivers

Due to their stressful and sedentary lifestyle, truck drivers are at a higher risk for developing preventable, long-lasting diseases.  The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health conducted the National Survey of Long-Haul Truck Driver Health and Injury. They found that “more than half of long-haul truck drivers reported having two or more of these health conditions or unhealthy behaviors: high blood pressure, obesity, smoking, limited physical activity, high cholesterol, or fewer than 6 hours of sleep.”  Given the statistics, it is no wonder that health insurance is on the top of the list of truck drivers concerns.  Unfortunately, 38% of long-haul drivers have no form of health insurance.  Trucking companies that offer full medical coverage to their drivers and drivers’ dependents will ensure a competitive place in the marketplace.  Other incentive options for drivers could be more home time, vacation time, bonuses, or discounts with certain retailers.  This will ensure that drivers think twice before switching to a different company.

It is essential for fleet managers to respect their drivers and work together with them as a team.  Managers should communicate with their employees and stay open to feedback, enabling them to understand the challenges that their drivers face.  If fleet managers provide their drivers with user-friendly technology and appropriate training on how to use it, drivers will have self-confidence in their work; regardless if they are tech savvy or not.  Also, by providing incentives to drivers such as health insurance, home time and vacation time, drivers will be able to get the medical care that they need and the family time that will help them to feel enthusiastic and productive in their work.

MatrackInc.com provides easy to use electronic logbook devices for trucks that allow drivers to log DOT compliant HOS, claim unassigned driving hours, voice-based ELD status change, low fuel notifications, and effective accident reporting.

HOS And Discontentment In Trucking Industry

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, under the United States Department of Transport, regulates the hours of service for interstate commercial motor carriers. The rules for commercial commodity transport carriers are as follows

  • 14-Hour Driving Window: A driver, who has taken consecutive 10-hour off duty, is allowed a driving window of the next consecutive 14 hours.
  • 11-Hour Driving Limit: In the 14-hour driving window, a driver is allowed to drive for a maximum of 11 hours.
  • Rest Breaks: A driver must take a 30-minute break after driving for 8 hours.
  • 60/70 hour limit: A driver can remain on duty for not more than a period of 60 hours in 7 days, and 70 hours in 8 days.
  • 34-hour restart: This rule helps the drivers to completely refresh their driving cycle. If they take 34-hours of consecutive rest from duty, they can start their driving afresh.
  • Sleeper berth provision: 14-hour limit minimizes the period as well as the number of breaks. Drivers can log 8 hours of sleeper berth time to get an extension on the 14-hour limit.

The HOS rules have been laid down by the DOT mainly for safety reasons. Most accidents involving trucks have one major cause – driver fatigue. The HOS rules make it mandatory for truck drivers to take a much-needed break, rest up and get back on the road. These rules not only ensure that drivers are safe and have a better work environment, but also ensure the safety of other drivers and passengers on the road.

Since the rules were implemented, motor carrier companies, and especially truck drivers have been critical of them. Here are a few reasons why HOS is not well-received by truckers and their companies.

  • Truck drivers do not really follow the same schedule every week. Depending on the availability, their work hours are bound to change. So adhering to HOS rules becomes strenuous.
  • Fleet managers now have to take a lot of calculations into consideration before allotting work to the drivers. It has become their added responsibility to ensure that the drivers strictly follow HOS, as violations often bring severe penalties.
  • The 30-minute break, 14-hour driving window, and 11-hour driving limit reduce scheduling flexibility, and proper resting period for drivers. For example, if a driver starts duty at 8 AM, then their 14-hour driving window ends at 10 PM. Now if a driver starts driving at 8:30 AM, they are bound to take a 30 minutes break at 4:30 PM, then their 11-hour driving limit ends 8 PM. This is just one scenario. It helps explain that the limits eliminate flexibility and add more stress to an already stressful job.
  • The 14-hour driving window starts as soon as driver checks in, and nothing stops the clock. Even if the driver sleeps during this time or takes a break or is at the loading/unloading dock, the clock keeps running. Fleet managers and drivers, therefore, have to work very closely with other businesses to avoid wastage of time and get as much work done as possible.
  • The limits have been implemented to make driving safer. But often, drivers who are trying to finish a job, racing against a clock, are more prone to be at the risk of accidents.

With ELD mandate, the recording of HOS and any violations are automatic, accurate and tamper-free. The drivers have to comply with HOS as well as ELD restrictions in order to avoid strict fines and penalties. The trucking industry is urging DOT to grant some leniency in HOS rules so that drivers can be benefited. As FMCSA has set a final deadline for ELD implementation, it is also looking into possible positive changes in the HOS. Until then, fleet managers and drivers will have to simply plan their route smartly, and make the most of the driving time.

Insurance Regulations For Transport Vehicles

There are certain simple requirements laid down by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regarding insurance requirements for transport vehicles. To get an Operating Authority (MC number), carriers are required to have public liability insurance, which includes coverage for property damage as well as bodily injury.

Public Liability Insurance: This is one of the most important insurance coverage for truck drivers as it covers them and others in case of an accident, where the driver is at fault. The property damage part of the coverage is to pay for repairs and damages done to the vehicle and any other property, while the bodily injury part helps in compensating for hospital bills of the victims of the accident.

In order to transport passengers or goods, and work as the for-hire carriers, companies are required to get an authority to operate for interstate commerce. This operating authority is determined and granted by FMCSA, depending on the following:

Motor Carrier of Property:

  • For-hire motor carriers transporting commodities for the general public
  • Must not transport household goods
  • File proof of public liability insurance with FMCA
  • Cargo Insurance is not required

A Motor carrier of Household Goods:

  • For-hire motor carriers transporting household goods (moving companies)
  • Household goods include personal items, goods shipped from stores or factories
  • File proof of public liability insurance with FMCA
  • Cargo insurance is required

Broker of Property:

  • Individual, partnerships or companies that arrange for the transport of goods
  • Must not transport household goods
  • No ownership, hence no responsibility towards property

Broker of Household Goods:

  • Individual, partnerships or companies that arrange for transport of household goods
  • No ownership, hence no responsibility towards property
  • Under certain conditions relating to services provided by the motor carriers, companies are required to register as a household goods broker.

United States-based Enterprise Carrier of International Cargo:

  • Transportation of international cargo, except household goods
  • Headquarters in US, owned/controlled by Mexican citizen or resident alien
  • Cargo either arriving or dispatched from foreign country

United States-based Enterprise Carrier of International Household Goods:

  • Transportation of international household goods
  • Headquarters in the US, owned/controlled by a Mexican citizen or resident alien
  • Cargo either arriving or dispatched from a foreign country
  • Household goods include personal items, goods shipped from stores or factories

Once the Operating Authority is established, motor carriers are required to get coverage and submit proof to FMCSA. Also, there are certain regulations regarding the minimum limit of coverage, as decided by FMCSA:

Type of Freight Minimum Limit of Coverage
Non-hazardous freight moved in vehicles weighing 10000lbs or less $300,000
Non-hazardous freight in vehicles weighing more than 10000lbs $750,000
Oil moved by For-Hire & Private Carriers $1,000,000
Other Hazardous material moved by for-Hire or Private Carriers $5,000,000

Other Coverage: Apart from the above, household goods motor carrier and freight forwarders are also required to have cargo insurance of at least $5,000 for each vehicle and $10,000 per occurrence. Freight forwarders, as well as Brokers of Freight, are required to have both – a Surety Bond of $75,000 and Trust Fund Agreement of $75,000.

Motor Carrier companies are also required to designate a Service Process Agent, to act as a representative of the company for proceeding brought against the motor carrier, broker or freight forwarder.

The above-mentioned requirements by FMCSA are in place to ensure that in case of accidents, any damage to property or people is taken care of, and thus must be strictly complied with. Also, a commercial transport vehicle will not be allotted a USDOT number by FMCSA unless all the insurance requirements are fulfilled. Motor Carrier companies are required to furnish proof of appropriate and mandated coverage in order to operate in the United States.

U.S. Carriers Subject To Canada’s Carbon Tax

As of April 1st, 2019, 4 Canadian provinces, (Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and New Brunswick), are now subject to the Canadian federal carbon pricing system, which was announced last fall.  Beginning July 1st, 2019, the provinces of Nunavut and Yukon will also be added to this list.  Non-Canadian carriers operating in any of those provinces will be subject to the fuel surcharge, need be registered with the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) and the federal tax authority, and are also required to submit quarterly reports. 

The surcharge in fuel prices is part 1 of 2 of the Canadian Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, an effort to protect the environment.  According to the Government of Canada’s website, “The Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, which implements the federal carbon pollution pricing system, is composed of two key parts. Part 1, administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), applies a charge to 21 types of fuel and combustible waste. Part 2, administered by Environment and Climate Change Canada, introduces an output-based pricing system (OBPS) for industrial facilities.”

Which carriers do the mandatory CRA registration apply to?  According to the Canadian Revenue Agency “Every inter-jurisdictional road carrier that uses fuel that is gasoline, light fuel oil (diesel), marketable natural gas or propane, in a specified commercial vehicle, in a listed province is required to be registered as a road carrier with the CRA. Generally, any road carrier that provides commercial transportation of individuals or goods by road from one province to another or from a location that is outside of Canada to another location in Canada, and travels to or through a listed province, will be required to register. These road carriers must register with the CRA by April 1, 2019, for business activities in Manitoba, New, Ontario and Saskatchewan, and July 1, 2019, for business activities in Nunavut and Yukon.”

In addition to registering with the CRA, inter-jurisdictional road carriers are expected to report fuel that is used in listed provinces by completing and filing quarterly returns that identify the quantity of fuel used within each listed province.  The road carrier may then either be entitled to claim a rebate or required to pay a fuel charge. Also, the fuel surcharge purchases do affect all purchases of fuel in the listed provinces.  However, fuel purchases made in a listed province, but used outside of a listed province may be eligible for a rebate.  The fuel surcharge is around 0.20 Canadian cents per gallon and fines for failure to register with the CRA could cost up to 2,000 Canadian dollars.  


Inter-jurisdictional carriers in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and New Brunswick should have registered already by now.  For carriers that do business activities in Nunavut and Yukon, they must register before July 1st, 2019.  For more information on how to register, visit the website.

Non-Preventable Crashes And CSA score

The Crash Preventability Demonstration Program which was introduced in July 2015 by FMCSA may be made permanent from August 2019. This will change the CSA scoring system.

After the program has successfully run for two years, it is now a possibility that it will be made permanent. This will mean that in cases of unavoidable crashes, where the truck driver is not at fault, will be deemed as “not preventable” for consideration of Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) score.

FMCSA’s CSA program has seven categories for scoring:

  • Unsafe Driving
  • Crash Indicator
  • Hours-of-Service Compliance
  • Vehicle Maintenance
  • Controlled Substance/ Alcohol
  • Hazardous Material Compliance
  • Driver Fitness

The data for the above is collected through inspections, accident reports, or any other violations.

For the purpose of Crash indicator and the Crash Preventability Demonstration Program, “Not Preventable” crash includes the following:

  • When the commercial motor vehicle (CMV) is hit by any other motorist driving under the influence
  • When the CMV is hit by any other motorist driving in the wrong direction
  • When the CMV is hit at the back
  • When the CMV is hit while being legally stopped, or at the parking
  • When the CMV has hit a person attempting to commit suicide by stepping/driving in front of the CMV
  • When CMV was damaged due to hitting an animal on the road
  • When CMV has been hit by another vehicle or cargo equipment

These are a few of the conditions as stated in the Crash Preventability Demonstration Program. There is a fair chance that FMCSA will be providing better and clearer interpretations.

With this program being made permanent, it will help FMCSA in having a reliable plan of assessing the culpability of a crash and also help in predicting future risks.

How can CMV owners and drivers make use of this classification?

Most commercial motor vehicles have dashboard cameras, installed specifically for the purpose of identifying a fault in case of an accident. In order to get a crash labeled as “not preventable”, a request has to be submitted to FMCSA. The request must contain proof in documents, videos, and photos that indicate the crash could not have been avoided under any circumstances. The video footage from the dashboard camera can be a piece of decisive evidence in this case.

Once FMCSA has approved the request, the crash will be labeled as “not preventable”. This will help in maintaining a healthy CSA score. A poor CSA score often means higher insurance premiums. Also, many businesses check CSA scores and do not like working with carriers who have a poor score. In case of a crash, the score is drastically affected and can hamper business opportunities for the carrier. With Crash Preventability Demonstration Program, it will be easier for carriers to improve their scores in case the crash was genuinely not caused due to the fault of the driver.

It is speculated that FMCSA will soon be proving more information on this new program, and related rules, regulations, and requirements. If it indeed is made permanent, the motor carrier industry will be hugely benefited.