Vehicle accident reporting
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued regulatory guidance regarding whether an explosion or fire in a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) that has not collided with other vehicles or stationary objects meets the definition of an "accident" under federal regulations, 46 C.F.R. § 390.5. According to the guidance, fires that occur in a CMV on a roadway customarily open to the public that result in a fatality, bodily injury requiring immediate medical attention away from the scene of the accident, or disability damage requiring a vehicle to be towed must be reported using one of two forms: MCS-50T for accidents involving property-carrying vehicles or MCS-50B for accidents involving passenger-carrying vehicles. When a motor carrier contests its safety rating by presenting compelling evidence that the recordable rate is not a fair means of evaluating the carrier’s accident factor, the "preventability" of an incident will be taken into account and determined according to the following: If (1) a motor carrier that exercises normal judgment and foresight could have anticipated the possibility of the fire that occurred, and (2) control, short of suspending operations, would not have risked causing another kind of mishap, the fire will be deemed to have been preventable. The guidance was effective July 24, 2007.
72 Fed. Reg. 40,250 (July 24, 2007)
[FMCSA regulatory guidance]