Skip to main content
Skip global navigation and go to main content

Crash preventability program to be expanded

Video will play a starring role

Posted April 14, 2023

A federal program that allows motor carriers to argue the preventability of certain types of crashes is set to expand.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) plans to add four types of crashes to its Crash Preventability Determination Program, among other changes. The program currently allows motor carriers to challenge the preventability of 16 types of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) crashes where the company’s driver was likely not at fault. If an appeal is successful, the crash is labeled as “not preventable” and is removed from calculation of the company’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) scores.

On April 13, 2023, the FMCSA announced plans to expand the program and make new crash types eligible for review, including crashes where the CMV was:

  • Struck on the side by a motorist operating in the same direction (currently, side-strike crash appeals are limited to crashes that happened at the rear of the vehicle).
  • Struck because another motorist was entering the roadway from a private driveway or parking lot.
  • Struck because another motorist lost control of their vehicle.
  • Involved in any type of crash where a video demonstrates the sequence of events.

In addition, the agency is proposing to amend the wording of 11 currently eligible crash types to broaden the types of crashes to which they apply.

Once finalized, the changes will not apply retroactively to crashes that have already taken place. The effective date of the proposed changes will be announced at a later time.

The FMCSA is accepting public comments about the proposed changes until June 12, 2023, online at

96 percent success rate

Since May 2020, the FMCSA has accepted requests in its DataQs system ( to evaluate the preventability of 16 crash types. Between May 2020 and January 2023, nearly 40,000 such requests were submitted, about 73 percent were deemed eligible, and about 96 percent of those were deemed “not preventable.”

Though companies’ CSA crash scores are not publicly available, stakeholders have expressed concern that the use of all crashes without an indication of preventability may give an inaccurate impression about the risk posed by the company.

The program does not change the FMCSA’s processes for reviewing crashes during an investigation or safety audit.

This article was written by Daren Hansen of J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.

Looking for more on transportation safety?

Get the information and products you need to stay on top of industry changes and comply with regs.

Learn More

J. J. Keller's free Transportation SafetyClicks™ e-newsletter brings quick-read safety and compliance news right to your inbox.

Sign up to receive Transportation SafetyClicks™