You got in a wreck. Hopefully, not too bad. Maybe your trailer got turned over by high winds or some kid tried to merge into your lane without looking. Maybe you clipped a road sign as you were turning through a tricky intersection. SO WHAT HAPPENS NOW?
Public Road, Your Truck
If you have a CMV with a gross weight of 10k and you’re not on private property, then any crash with a tow-away, injury, or fatality will be reported to your record. That means it will show up on your MVR (driver’s license record) plus your PSP (federal record). It will also show up on your carrier’s CSA score and give them points there. This is the worst case scenario. Your insurance will likely go up and you might find yourself in hot water with your carrier.
POST-CRASH INSPECTIONS: This is the silver lining to an FMCSA reportable crash. You will likely get a Driver/Vehicle Examination (aka DOT Inspection) at the scene of the crash. The officer will write down anything he sees wrong with the truck, including things that resulted from the crash. BUT the officer will write on the inspection report which violations are “Post-crash”. Any violations marked this way won’t be added to your carrier’s CSA score.
NON-PREVENTABLE CRASHES: Here is silver lining #2. If the crash was clearly not your fault and there was nothing you could have done to stop it, then you can try and change the status of the crash on your PSP (and your carrier’s CSA score). Crashes marked “Not Preventable” look way better for you than crashes without this tag. How to work this magic? Get a copy of the crash report. If it meets certain standards, you can send it to the DOT to have them change your record.
Private Property OR Personal Vehicle
If a crash takes place on private property (like a parking lot) or if you’re in your personal car, then it won’t be reported to the DOT. But if you are on the job, the crash can still be reported to your DAC (Drive-A-Check). Watch out for that. You can make a challenge to information on that report by talking with the company that keeps the DAC, HireRight. If you’re in your personal car, then any crash report by a police officer will likely show up on your driver’s license record. You can expect the same reaction from your insurance carrier as with a crash reported to your PSP.
How can I Remove a Crash?
RELATED TO A TICKET: If you got a ticket or inspection report with the crash, you will need remove their impact sepperately. Tickets will likely go through court, while the inspection will go on your PSP and your carrier’s CSA score. These records aren’t dependent on your Crash report, but they are related. Don’t forget to fight them and their impact on your record.
FROM YOUR MVR (driver’s license record), you can’t. Your MVR is pretty static. Unless there’s completely false information on it (like a record belonging to a different driver being put there by accident), your DMV won’t alter your record. Some other exceptions apply for violations, but crashes are there to stay.
FROM YOUR PSP, you can try “Not Preventable”. If the police crash report indicates you couldn’t have done anything to prevent the accident, then you have a good shot to challenge the record. The DOT will determine if your crash meets their standards for “Not Preventable.” If so, they will change it for you.
TIME: A crash stays on your PSP for 5 years. It stays on your carrier’s CSA score for 3 years. It stays on your MVR for as long as you have a license. What does all that mean? On your PSP and the CSA score, you can wait out a crash. It will go away eventually and stop affecting you. That leaves the MVR. Even though you can’t remove it or expect it to disappear, older crashes will affect you less and less as they age.
Need more help?
CDL Legal can review your record to see if we can help you adjust it in any way. We regularly make the DOT challenges for “Not Preventable” crashes. We also help fight tickets and inspections that would affect your record. Send us a message for more information!