The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently proposed a new rule designed to help identify motor carriers Truck Driver Standing Outside of His Rigwho are unsafe on the road. The proposed rule would update the methodology the FMSCA uses for safety determinations by combining on-road safety inspections data with the findings from carrier investigations and crash reports. The agency would then be allowed to use that information to determine safety fitness on a monthly basis.

Proposed Changes

The proposed Safety Fitness Determination (SFD), which would replace the FMCSA's current tiered rating system, will allow for unsafe carriers to be cited with an “unfit” rating that would require them to make improvements in order to continue operating. The updated methodology will allow the agency to focus on carriers with a higher crash risk and will greatly increase the number of carriers the FMCSA can assess each year. The current safety determination methodology only allows the agency to investigate up to 15,000 motor carriers per year, while the updated SFD rule would permit the FMCSA to evaluate as many as 75,000 trucking companies each month.

Criteria for “Unfit” Rating

Under the proposed rule, the FMCSA would use information from a minimum of 11 inspections in a 24-month period—and each of the 11 or more inspections would have to reveal violations—before a motor carrier is deemed unfit. The FMCSA estimates that fewer than 300 carriers per year would receive “unfit” ratings as a result of the updated methodology.

Were You Injured in a Truck Accident?

The FMCSA strives to make the nation's roads safer, but updated methodologies can't ensure your safety while driving a vehicle. If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by an unsafe motor carrier, you may be able to pursue compensation for medical bills related to the accident, damage to your vehicle, lost wages due to an inability to work, and pain and suffering. Contact Steinberg Injury Lawyers today for a free case evaluation. Our knowledgeable legal team has experience handling truck accident injury cases just like yours and are eager to help you secure whatever damages you may deserve.


Peter Steinberg
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Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Since 1982
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