The United States trucking industry is regulated by state and federal law enforcement alongside the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) of the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) to ensure motor vehicle safety compliance.
If you are a fleet owner or operator, we recommend consulting with a commercial trucking attorney and insurance expert to help you mitigate risk through safety compliance. The consequence of non-compliance is not only that drivers and people being put at risk of harm, but also your business being penalized, affecting financial viability or authority to operate.
SWAN Insurance offers commercial trucking safety consulting to help you navigate and comply with regulations to meet insurance requirements and successfully pass audits.
Safety auditors report their analysis to underwriters, determining your insurance policy. It is important to understand a few ways in which motor carriers are audited.
Motor Carrier Safety Compliance Auditing
The FMCSA requires specific legal and insurance documents for motor carriers to obtain Operating Authority, which is to legally operate a commercial trucking company in the United States. Different forms of coverage are required for specific vehicles, as standard auto insurance does not provide coverage for commercial motor vehicles.
In order to seek authorization to operate interstate trucking operations, motor carriers must apply for a United States Department of Transportation (DOT) identification number. Acquiring a DOT identification number entails a safety audit through the New Entrant Safety Assurance Program of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
The FMCSA will also conduct a DOT Compliance Review following a failed New Entrant Safety Audit, or if there has been a complaint, accident, violation, or request for an updated safety rating. The DOT Compliance Review will generate one of three potential safety ratings: Satisfactory, Conditional or Unsatisfactory. The safety ratings of drivers and commercial trucking companies remain up-to-date and publicly accessible.
At any given time, the FMCSA may further intervene through its Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program. The CSA program uses Safety Measurement System (SMS) scores to prioritize and identify motor carriers operating with safety risks. SMS scores are determined by Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs): Unsafe Driving, Crash Indicator, Hours-Of-Service Compliance, Hazardous Materials Compliance, Vehicle Maintenance, Controlled Substances And Alcohol, and Drivers’ Fitness.
Safety Consulting For Commercial Trucking
If you are a New Entrant, you need to pass safety audits to be in business and stay in business. If you have been in the business for some time, but are tired of paying enforcement settlements and higher insurance premiums, improving your SMS score should be the focus of your safety practices. SWAN Insurance safety consultants help implement corrective action plans through analysis and monitoring through Central Analysis Bureau (CAB) resources, telematics, and vehicle inspection checklists. The CAB report is the industry standard in providing comprehensive analysis on critical issues pertaining to your operation’s safety and finances. We also leverage telematics to analyze data on GPS-based locations of vehicles, cargo, and assets, as well as driver behavior and engine maintenance. Telematics can help your business to manage fuel costs, improve route efficiency, and encourage safety habits.
While SWAN Insurance specialists are not certified mechanics, we can advise you on what safety officers will inspect in your vehicle.
We also consult on attracting, hiring, and retaining qualified talent. Click here to read: The Best Way To Find Qualified Commercial Truck Drivers.
In the event of an accident, SWAN Insurance will hold your hand through a new claim or an ongoing case. We even consult on ongoing cases that were filed prior to working with SWAN Insurance, as your safety is of our best interest.
If you have questions about a safety audit, or general compliance, give SWAN Insurance a call and one of our advisors can speak with you today.
Call Us Today: 858-381-3108