Crash Prevention and Risk Mitigation Best Practices

When carriers don't address dangerous driving behaviors, it's not a matter of if an accident will occur, but when.

Published On: 03/15/2024
Semi truck in ditch
J. J. Keller Editor Rick Malchow

Written by:

Rick Malchow

Industry Business Advisor — J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.

The FMCSA releases its Pocket Guide to Large Truck and Bus Statistics every year. Through studies, the agency has found that fleets with many safety violations in any given CSA BASIC area are much more likely to have an accident. The Unsafe Driving BASIC is listed first, as behaviors in this category correlate highly to crash risk. When a carrier allows these behaviors to continue, it’s not a matter of if an accident will occur but when.

In 2020, of the 35,766 fatal crashes on the nation’s roadways, 4,588 (12.8%) involved at least one large truck or bus.

In addition, of the estimated 5,215,000 nonfatal crashes, 440,000 (8.4%) involved at least one large truck or bus. The study estimates the cost of large truck and bus crashes in 2020 to be $143 BILLION.

The FMCSA's primary mission statement is simple and clear: "To reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses." The agency understands that if it can identify carriers at risk of having an accident and proactively intervene, its mission will take care of itself.

According to the FMCSA Pocket Guide, the top two violations in 2020 roadside inspections were Speeding and Failure to Obey a Traffic Device.

  • Speeding 6-10 miles per hour over the speed limit (392.2-SLLS2), with 63,950 violations, was the most cited driver violation in 2021.1
  • Failure to Obey a Traffic Device (392.2C), with 59,188 violations, was the second most cited driver violation in 2021.1

It’s important to note that speeding and failing to obey a traffic device are unsafe driving behaviors and symptomatic of inattentive or distracted driving. When a driver stops paying attention to what is happening in front of the vehicle, they no longer have control.

Are you addressing risky driving in your fleet? Controlling dangerous driving starts with awareness of driver behaviors. Using a dash cam system, like the VideoProtects® Video Event Management System, delivers a significant ROI by alerting you to events and patterns of unsafe driving behaviors.

Consider the list of unsafe driving tracking and monitoring best practices below. If you discover you can’t confirm or are unsure if your organization tracks these areas, consider them your first place to start:

  • Unsafe Driving BASIC roadside inspection violations
  • Top 10 Unsafe Driving BASIC violations weighted by count and severity
  • Speeding incidents*
  • Lane deviations*
  • Following too close*
  • Hard braking*
  • Inattentive and distracted driving alerts*
  • Traffic control device compliance*
  • Safety complaint calls

Talk with a VideoProtects specialist today and learn how to reduce your risk of crashes and litigation. Call 1-833-813-7263.


1) 2022 Pocket Guide to Large Truck and Bus Statistics. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Washington, D.C. December 2022

*using in-cab technology alerts

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