In 2018 there were over 5000 trucks or buses involved in fatal crashes. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is the organization in charge of monitoring these statistics.
They also are in charge of regulating the trucking industry and creating the field of trucking law. The FMCSA has come out with a regulatory classification system named BASICS to aid in facilitating regulation.
Trucking Law BASICS
BASICS is an acronym that stands for Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories. It is the gold standard when it comes to trucking law. BASICS is often referred to as an SMS or safety management system.
Each trucking company is given a BASICS ranking from 0-100 with 100 being the worst. If a company has accrued any critical violations, they will also be given an “alert” in the corresponding category of BASICS.
BASICS can be an excellent resource when determining substance for any motor-vehicle accident legal case involving a truck. Learn more here about filing a trucking-related lawsuit.
The following are the specific elements that BASICS monitors and control.
- Unsafe Driving
The first element is unsafe driving. The FMCSA looks at the total traffic violations acquired by drivers. This includes things such as speeding tickets, moving violations, and reckless driving charges.
- Crash Indicator
A crash indicator is compiled from state-reported crash statistics. These stats are often not available to the general public. The crash indicator analyzes crash statistics to find patterns useful in determining the causation of accidents.
- Hours of Service Compliance
The Hours of Service Compliance, or HORS for short, is a determination of if the company has violated any regulatory standards when it comes to their drivers. This usually involves an analysis of logbooks and other critical data.
Applicable regulatory standards include things like managing work-to-rest ratios for drivers and maintaining appropriate documentation.
- Driver Fitness
This analyzes whether a driver is qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle. It includes researching levels of training, experience, and physical/mental health conditions for individual drivers.
- Vehicle Maintenance
This includes important details such as making sure lights are working. It also pertains to making sure critical safety systems such as brakes are in good working order.
In day-to-day operations, this applies to making sure that loads are properly secured and not over the truck’s safe carrying capacity. All aspects of maintenance need to be properly documented.
- Hazardous Material Compliance
This area pertains to the successful or failed management of transporting hazardous materials. It includes making sure materials are properly labeled, secured correctly, and that the right inspection techniques are in place as regulated by the USDOT.
- Alcohol and Controlled Substances
This element dives deep into an operator’s history with drugs, alcohol, and other controlled substances. It also analyzes the company’s drug testing policies and makes sure that they comply with national standards.
Know The BASICS of Trucking Law
Understanding trucking law can be confusing because of the staggering amount of acronyms involved in regulation. Once you can sort through all of the BASICS it becomes much easier.
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