This is our last BASIC in the CSA series. The CSA Crash BASIC is all about accidents. The score is based upon motor carrier accident “involvement”, not whose fault it was. Hopefully the FMCSA will spend more time looking at fault in the future, but for now motor carriers are stuck with it the way it is. It is important to understand that for an accident to show on CSA it must be a “recordable” accident per 390.5. It must result in a fatality; bodily injury to a person who, as a result of the injury, immediately receives medical treatment away from the scene of the accident; or one more motor vehicles incurring disabling damage as a result of the accident, requring the motor vehicles to be transported away from the scene by a tow truck or other motor vehicle.

Fortunately, we don’t have many accidents at Mercer, compared to our size and the number of miles we run. Most of the accidents at Mercer involve animal strikes or someone else hitting us at a truckstop. Nearly three-fourths of our accidents are non-preventable. That is a credit to all of our drivers’ commitment to keeping the highways safe. Most of these accidents to not meet the “recordable” standard of the FMCSA.

When our drivers do make mistakes and have preventable accidents, they generally fall into two categories: Improper lane change or following too closely. Both usually cause extensive property damage and injury to other motorists. They are difficult and expensive to settle. They can be career-ending for a driver. It is imperative that every driver drives defensively at all times. Don’t speed, don’t tailgate. When a lane change must be made, signal and use extreme caution. Check mirrors often and have enough mirrors to give multiple views down both sides of the truck. Get into the practice of backing off and don’t get caught up in other folk’s driving mistakes. Be patient.

CSA is all about reducing highway injuries and fatalities. In my opinion, at the end of the day, the most important BASIC on CSA is this one. Unsafe motor carriers have large numbers of accidents. Safe motor carriers do not. Mercer drivers are the best and everyone works hard to reduce the number of accidents our company has. I am proud of all of you for the great job you do. Keep up the good work. Be safe.