Crash Preventability Determination Program Proposed Update: What You Need to Know About Dash Cams

The FMCSA has proposed an update to the Crash Preventability Determination Program. One of the proposed changes would significantly affect dash cam users.

Published On: 05/19/2023
Semi truck accident roll over
J. J. Keller Industry Consultant Tom Bray

Written by:

Tom Bray

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

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has proposed an update to the Crash Preventability Determination Program (CPDP). This proposed update is big news because FMCSA is considering expanding the types of crashes they review. One of the proposed changes would significantly affect dash camera users.

What is the CPDP?

The CPDP allows a carrier to request a preventability review of a crash. If it is found not preventable, the crash will not be scored in the carrier's Crash BASIC in the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program. “Not-preventable” means the carrier’s driver did not cause the crash and could not have avoided it.

Current Program

For a crash to be reviewed, it has to fall into specific categories (struck in the rear, struck in the rear at the side, struck by a motorist going the wrong direction, etc.).

To request a preventability review for a crash that meets eligibility criteria, the carrier must:

  1. Initiate a DataQs request for data review (RDR) asking for a preventability determination.
  2. Provide a copy of the police accident report and any other documents to support their argument.
  3. Submit post-crash drug and alcohol test results if there was a fatality.

Additional Crash Types Eligible for Review

If the proposed update is adopted, FMCSA would also accept preventability RDRs for more types of crashes. For example, one of the new categories would be a crash where video provided by the carrier demonstrates the crash was not preventable.

Dash Camera Footage Could Make Any Crash Reviewable

This is a game-changer - any crash can be reviewed and determined to be not preventable, not just the ones that fall into specific categories. If video footage from a dash camera proves the crash was not preventable, FMCSA will review it and make a preventability determination.

Adding to the List of Reasons to Have Dash Cams

Many carriers have experienced the advantages of dash cameras. First, there is the exoneration power of dash cameras. Having video footage that clearly shows what happened when the crash occurred allows a carrier to settle accident claims quickly.

Second, there is the reduction in crashes many carriers using dash cameras have experienced. This is because dash cameras allow the carrier to locate problem behaviors and counsel, coach, and retrain the drivers involved. The benefit of fewer crashes is a reduction in claims losses and an improvement in the carrier’s Crash BASIC score in CSA.

If passed, this proposal would provide an additional advantage to having dash cameras.


The process the FMCSA follows is to propose changes to the program in the Federal Register, gather comments on the proposed changes, and then make adjustments based on the proposal and comments. The bottom line is that changes are coming, but they could be months away. This gives carriers time to prepare.

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