PPS Program Users See a Drop in Truck Accidents

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's Pre-Employment Screening Program, also known as PSP, is being credited for a drop in the number of serious truck accidents across the U.S. with the FMCSA announcing that trucking and bus companies using one of its programs are seeing fewer crashes than those who do not use it.

PSP is a system developed by the FMCSA that allows potential employers to access data about job applicants' safety records. For a small fee, potential employers receive a report outlining information about crashes and violations of federal safety rules.

According to the FMCSA, motor carriers that use the PSP system saw an overall eight percent drop in crash rate, though larger companies saw significantly more benefit. Carriers with between six and 20 drivers saw their crash numbers drop by 20.6 percent, while carriers with between 21 and 100 drivers saw a 21.1 percent decrease. Since the system began distributing information in May 2010, the FMCSA has seen a steady increase in the number of requests, with approximately 70,000 requests for reports each month.

The PSP was created after a federal law was passed requiring the FMCSA to provide pre-employment safety information to trucking companies. The system contains about 3.5 million records, though the numbers vary slightly as numbers are refreshed. Each report provided by the FMCSA outlines an applicant's crash data for the previous five years and inspection data for the previous three years.

With the release of these numbers, the PSP is sure to see a further increase in users over the next couple years. The information the system provides is essential for trucking companies because it helps them predict whether a particular driver poses a serious risk to others on the road. Over time, the system will become more efficient in identifying potentially dangerous drivers based not only on crash data, but also on past violations of federal safety regulations.

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