The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's said a new study published last month confirms that the Safety Measurement System (SMS) is more effective at identifying commercial bus and truck companies of all sizes for targeted enforcement than the system it replaced.
Researchers at the John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center analyzed for FMCSA a comparison of historical carrier data and future crash involvement by taking two years of pre-SMS safety data for a subset of carriers, running it through the system's algorithm and then following those companies' crash records for 18 months. FMCSA said the results show that the companies the SMS would have identified for interventions, such as roadside inspections, warning letters and on-site investigations, had a future crash rate of more than double the national average.
FMCSA said the Volpe study peer-reviewed by independent experts.
Also, 79 percent of the carriers that SMS would have ranked as high risk in at least one of the seven safety categories it monitors, had higher future crash rates compared to those it would not have identified. SMS is a component of the agency's Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program, which was launched in 2010 to identify and prioritize motor carriers that pose the highest threat to public safety for enforcement interventions.