6 Biggest Benefits of an LMS for Transportation Companies
- Increased driver comprehension of training material
- Decreased frequency and severity of accidents and incidents
- Improved CSA scores
- Digital, automatic record-keeping provides indisputable proof of training in legal matters and DOT audits
- Streamlined communication and shortened driver orientation
- Improved ability to provide corrective action training
Seeing is Believing
FMCSA CSA Violation Severity by Numeric Weight Charts
The tables in this appendix contain all violations used in the Safety Measurement System (SMS), along with the corresponding Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) or Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMRs) section. Each Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC) is represented by two tables. The first table lists the BASIC violations and the second table lists Acute and Critical Violations related to this BASIC.
Each BASIC violation is assigned a severity weight that reflects its relevance to crash risk. Crash risk is defined as the risk of crashes occurring and the consequences of the crash after it occurs. Within each BASIC, the violations are grouped based on their attributes so that similar violations can be assigned the same severity weights. Severity weights, discussed in more detail below, only reflect relative crash risk within a BASIC and are not comparable across the BASICs.
Interpretation of the Severity Weights The violation severity weights in the tables that follow have been converted into a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 represents the lowest crash risk and 10 represents the highest crash risk relative to the other violations in the BASIC. Because the weights reflect the relative importance of each violation only within each particular BASIC, they cannot be compared meaningfully across the various BASICs. Therefore, a 5 in one BASIC is not equivalent to a 5 in another BASIC, but the 5 does represent the approximate midpoint between a crash risk of 1 and 10 within the same BASIC. The “Violation Group” column in each table identifies the group to which each violation has been assigned. Each violation within a violation group is assigned the same severity weight.
Violations in the tables that follow are used by SMS at the specified severity weight unless the citation result associated with the violation is adjudicated and documented as “dismissed/ not guilty.” Additionally, when the citation result for a violation is documented as “convicted of a different charge,” then the severity weight is set to 1 and it is not subject to an additional out-of-service (OOS) severity weight of 2.
In order for an adjudicated citation result to be documented for a violation (and subsequently impact SMS), drivers or carriers must submit certified documentation of the judicial proceeding results through a Request for Data Review (RDR) in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) DataQs system to initiate this process. This process only applies to inspections conducted on or after August 23, 2014.
Derivation of the Severity Weights
The Violation Group Column in each table identifies the group to which each violation has been assigned. In order to determine the severity weights crash involvement and crash consequence, the following five-step process was invoked:
- BASIC Mapping – All roadside safety-related violations were mapped to an appropriate BASIC so the severity weight analysis could be conduced on each individual BASIC.
- Violation Grouping – All violations in each BASIC were placed into groups of similar violations based on the judgment of enforcement subject matter experts. These groups, listed in the “Violation Group” column in each table, make it possible to incorporate otherwise rarely discovered violations into the robust statistical analysis used to derive the severity weights. The violation grouping also ensured that similar types of violations received the same severity weight.
- Crash Occurrence Analysis – Statistical analysis was performed to quantify the extent of the relationship between crash involvement on the one hand and violation rates in each violation group, within each BASIC, on the other hand. A driver approach was used in this analysis. This approach was taken due to strong demonstrable relationships between driver crashes and violations documented in prior research by the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center. The earlier research was conducted in support of FMCSA’s Compliance Review Work Group (CRWG), the CSA program’s predecessor.
Based on the conclusions from the earlier research, the Volpe Center developed a Driver Information Resource (DIR) for FMCSA. The DIR uses individual crash and inspection reports from all States to construct multi-year driver safety histories for individual commercial drivers. Multivariate negative binomial regression models were used to quantify the strength of relationships between driver violation rates in individual violation groups and crash involvement.
- Crash Consequences Analysis – While the statistical modeling described in Step 3 provides an empirical basis for associating violations and crash occurrence, it does not address the violations relationship to crash consequence. To factor in the risk associated with crash consequence enforcement subject matter experts representing State and Federal field staff provided input for modifying preliminary severity weight defined in step 3. This approach helped balance the violation risk associated with crash involvement (occurrence) and crash consequence.
- CSMS Effectiveness Test – Various severity weighting schemes developed in steps 1 through 4 were applied to the Safety Measurement System (SMS) to provide an empirical evaluation of the weighting schemes. This empirical evaluation, or “SMS Effectiveness Test,” was modeled after the SafeStat Effectiveness Test.21 The SMS Effectiveness Test was accomplished through the following steps: (1) performing a simulated SMS run that calculates carrier percentile ranks for each BASIC using historical data; (2) examining each carrier’s crash involvement over the immediate 18 months after the simulated SMS timeframe; and (3) observing the relationship between the percentile ranks in each BASIC and the subsequent post-SMS carrier crash rates. The SMS Effectiveness Test provides an environment to evaluate various severity weighting schemes in terms of their impact in identifying high-risk carriers. It also provides a means of testing other weight schemes, such as the out-of-service (OOS) weight, to help optimize SMS’s effectiveness.
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