Federal Motor Carrier Safety: Modifying the Compliance, Safety, Accountability Program Would Improve the Ability to Identify High Risk Carriers, Report to Congressional Committees [open pdf - 2MB]
"From 2009 to 2012, large commercial trucks and buses have averaged about 125,000 crashes per year, with about 78,000 injuries and over 4,100 fatalities. In 2010, FMCSA [Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration] replaced its tool for identifying the riskiest carriers-SafeStat-with the CSA [Compliance, Safety, Accountability] program. CSA is intended to reduce the number of motor carrier crashes by better targeting the highest risk carriers using information from roadside inspections and crash investigations. CSA includes SMS, a data-driven approach for identifying motor carriers at risk of causing a crash. GAO [Government Accountability Office] was directed by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012 to monitor the implementation of CSA. This report examines the effectiveness of the CSA program in assessing safety risk for motor carriers. GAO spoke with FMCSA officials and stakeholders to understand SMS [Safety Measurement System]. Using FMCSA's data, GAO replicated FMCSA's method for calculating SMS scores and assessed the effect of changes-such as stronger data-sufficiency standards-on the scores. GAO also evaluated SMS's ability to predict crashes. GAO recommends that FMCSA revise the SMS methodology to better account for limitations in drawing comparisons of safety performance information across carriers. In addition, determination of a carrier's fitness to operate should account for limitations in available performance information. In response to comments from the Department of Transportation (USDOT), GAO clarified one of the recommendations. USDOT agreed to consider the recommendations."
Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/