Why fleet carriers should create their own incident tracking and analysis tools

This article is part of a series sponsored by IAT Insurance Group.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is Accident record keeping requirements back to the Future.

FMCSA, which retired after launching its Compliance, Safety and Accountability (CSA) program more than a decade ago, hopes to reinstate accident recordkeeping requirements to help the government better assess the safety of road vehicles and potentially find ways to fix the problem. Prevent and reduce the severity of future accidents.

The American Transportation Research Institute reports that since the introduction of electronic logging devices in 2018, crashes have decreased by 7% and hours of service violations have decreased by nearly 17%, demonstrating the power of strong information collection on safety. and 2022.[1]

Comments on the new requirements will be accepted until October 10, 2023, but with the American Trucking Associations and other industry stakeholders supporting the updates, every indication is that the accident recordkeeping requirement will eventually become a rule.[2]

Regardless of when new accident record-keeping requirements become a rule, maintaining a robust accident tracking analysis tool benefits fleets of all sizes because it:

  • Gain a deeper understanding of the root causes of incidents and violations,
  • The cost can be determined,
  • and gain insights into how best to stop them

Build a simple incident tracking and analysis tool

Building a tool that goes beyond what DOT can report to cover all incidents, including near misses, can help fleets identify actions that lead to losses or potential losses, as well as other contributing factors, including cargo and workers’ compensation claims.

For example, a fleet may notice many lane changes and merge incidents, which may mean it’s worth equipping existing trucks with lane departure warning systems or purchasing new vehicles equipped with these systems.

Building tools does not require investing in new software. Fleets can use spreadsheets or digital tracking tools to capture and organize all relevant information. Consider including the following data points in trend and analysis reports, much of which has been collected by fleet:

  • A brief description of the event. Develop your accident scenario and possible contributing factors.
  • Consider whether the accident can be recorded by DOT. This includes if a death occurred (regardless of fault), if the insured driver was cited for the accident, if someone went to the hospital, or if the vehicle was towed and the driver was cited.Also, please use this to make sure you are Comply with drug and alcohol testing.
  • influencing factors. Record anything that may have affected the incident, such as driver fatigue, driver lost, driver overtime, driver injury, weather conditions, time of day, day of week, visibility, traffic levels, road conditions, location , check the details. To speed up data collection, fleets can download SMS (Safety Measurement System) input into the CSA.
  • Expenses related to the accident. Track any costs incurred by the fleet and/or its insurance company as a result of the accident, including insurance deductibles, uninsured expenses, training and hiring, off-duty expenses associated with firing a driver, rental fees for replacing trucks while the truck is being repaired, or any money due Changed hands due to accident.
  • Track preventable accidents and Unpreventable accidents. This goes beyond who the insurance company says is at fault. Pay attention to whether you could have taken reasonable action, such as honking the horn or applying the brakes faster, to prevent the accident.
  • After an accident, act accordingly. The purpose of gathering this information is to gain insight into the follow-up actions after an incident, thereby reducing the risk of further incidents. Does the problem lie with a specific driver? Should maintenance programs be stepped up? Should a customer be dropped because their requirements have been reduced? Lead to more accidents?

The importance of collecting data isn’t just the information itself, but the story it tells you about what’s happening in your fleet. They will hopefully help you run a safer and perhaps more cost-effective operation.

Ask a Loss Control Representative

Have questions about how to reduce risk?e-mail losscontroldirect@iatinsurance.com There’s a chance to see your questions answered in a future blog.

Author: Chris Parker and Nancy Rose-Anderson

[1] American Transportation Research Institute,”Forecasting truck crashes: 2022 update”, October 2022

[2] Transportation Topics,”FMCSA to update carriers’ plans for keeping accident records”, August 8, 2023


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