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How the FMSCA investigates truck companies: The Safety Management Cycle

April 27, 2013 by Steven M. Gursten

Safety Management Cycle also helps motor carriers and truck drivers evaluate existing safety measures

FMCSA Safety Management Cycle

I wanted to share this “Safety Management Cycle” chart today. It provides insight into how the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration investigates truck companies for safety.

Motor Carriers and truck drivers can also use it  to evaluate current behavior and safety measures.

The Safety Management Cycle (SMC) is  for the Unsafe Driving Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC) of the FMCSA, and it helps trucking companies and drivers evaluate existing processes to determine where gaps may exist that either encourage unsafe driving behavior or leave this behavior unaddressed.

The  step-by-step process goes beyond just identifying what the violation is to get at why the safety performance issue is occurring.

The tool is made up of the following six Safety Management Processes (SMPs) to represent the areas of a motor carrier’s operations:

  1. Policies and procedures;
  2. Roles and responsibilities;
  3. Qualification and hiring;
  4. Training and communication;
  5. Monitoring and tracking;
  6. Meaningful action.

For instance, does the truck company have a policy that prohibits dispatchers from assigning drivers a load that cannot be completed without speeding?

Unsafe driving includes risky behavior such as:

  • Speeding
  • Improper lane change
  • Aggressive driving
  • Distracted driving
  • And other types of  dangerous activity.

A truck company, truck driver, or even a truck accident lawyer representing an truck accident victim, can take a look at the SMC chart and make sure all necessary processes, management, and controls are in place to prevent and address unsafe truck driving behavior.

Here’s more information about the Safety Management Cycle from the FMSCA.

Related information:

FMSCRs trump lower state laws in trucking cases

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