In 2015, more than 4,000 people were killed in crashes involving large trucks. To identify carriers with the highest crash risk, FMCSA uses information from roadside inspections and crashes to rank each carrier's safety performance relative to other carriers in seven categories, including one on vehicle maintenance. Some stakeholders have proposed a system for carriers or their drivers to self-report en route vehicle equipment problems to FMCSA. Reported equipment problems that were repaired within a certain time period would not affect the carrier's relative ranking, potentially incentivizing carriers to make repairs more quickly.
The Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act included a provision for GAO to examine the cost and feasibility of establishing a system for carriers or drivers to self-report vehicle equipment problems to FMCSA. This report examines (1) the potential safety impacts of a self-reporting system and (2) factors that could affect its feasibility and cost.
GAO reviewed relevant regulations, information on other existing DOT self-reporting systems, and prior related GAO work. GAO also interviewed a non-generalizable sample of representatives from six industry and safety associations, six carriers, and six drivers about this potential system for self-reporting equipment problems"