Maryland State Police - Accident Report Or Not?

Topic 2193 | Page 1

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Chief's Comment
member avatar

So, unfortunately earlier this week, I found out the hard way under what conditions the MSP writes up an accident report.

1. There is damage to state property OR,

2. Either vehicle has to be towed OR,

3. There is an injury requiring transport.

Unless one of those conditions is met MSP does not write an accident report and the at-fault is left to the insurance companies to hash out.

In my particular instance the other driver, who was definitely at fault (as inferred by the statements of the trooper made to me) was not even issued a citation.

Way weird and very frustrating. To me, this kind of situation just leaves a driver hanging out there at the whim of the company of how they want to report it on a DAC (if at all) and there's no documentation to prove otherwise.

wtf.gif

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
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What about if one or more vehicles are damaged without needing to be towed? The police won't even write it up?

Chief's Comment
member avatar

There was damage to both vehicles but, because neither vehicle had to be towed it didn't matter according to MSP.

In a nutshell...I was northbound on I-95 just south of Baltimore about 0230. Trooper comes out of hiding and goes after this guy in the #1 lane (far left). I was in the #4 (far right) doing about 60 mph. As soon as I see this I let up out of the throttle some to slow down a bit to see what was going to happen. Trooper finally catches up to this guy but he continues on in the #1 lane. I decided to keep going where I was and just get past them because honestly I thought the guy was probably going to pull over to the left in the paved median. All of a sudden he starts coming right so I start braking and check my mirror to move left. Next thing I know this dude is literally stopping in the #3 lane with the cop behind him. My closure rate was too fast so going left was no longer an option so I decided to just stay in my lane. Well the guy decided to come over anyway and even after I went right to the shoulder he came over there too. I ran out of real estate, tore up the left side of his pick-up which tore off one of my steps near the air tanks, scraped up the wheel and fender. My right side impacted the metal guard rail which shattered the fiberglass around the hinge point on the hood. Now the whole hood has to be replaced. I don't know the exact extent of his damage but it had to be something considering the impact ripped my bottom step off.

I called MSP the next day to find out how to get a copy of what the trooper wrote up and was told because the accident did not meet any of the previously stated conditions there would be no report. That's when I found out that the other guy wasn't even cited for anything which really surprised me based on what the trooper had said to me at the scene.

I just find the whole thing really, really odd.

Funny thing is, the same three basic criteria are cited on the FMCSA website for what constitutes a recordable accident involving a commercial vehicle with a GCW of 10,001 lbs or more. I would infer from that information this accident won't even make the database. Or will it? Who knows. I guess time will tell.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Woody's Comment
member avatar

So the guy was doing something bad enough that the officer felt he needed stopped. In the process of being stopped the driver crosses 4 lanes and causes an accident. Then the officer decides no tickets are in order and no report needes to be filed? Unreal.

Did you get the drivers and officers info? I would imagine the insurance company at least would want to look into it farther.

The more I think about Daniel's dash cam, the more I think I might want one.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Why do I have a sneaky suspicion that this might be happening only because you're a truck driver and they don't care too much for us in the East?

And Woody, a dashcam is probably the best 80$ you can spend.

Chief's Comment
member avatar

So the guy was doing something bad enough that the officer felt he needed stopped. In the process of being stopped the driver crosses 4 lanes and causes an accident. Then the officer decides no tickets are in order and no report needes to be filed? Unreal.

Did you get the drivers and officers info? I would imagine the insurance company at least would want to look into it farther.

The more I think about Daniel's dash cam, the more I think I might want one.

When it first started it was my assumption he was pulling him over for speeding since I didn't see anything else out of the ordinary. Your summation is correct except no report was written because that is Maryland law. It was obviously the trooper's decision to not cite him (or me which I'm sure he could have for something). He did fill out a driver information exchange form which also had all the MSP info including a case #.

That's the other weird thing. Without a report how do the insurance companies determine who was at fault and who's paying for what? Or, do they each pay for their own vehicles? My company is self insured and debt free so at worst repairs to my truck are paid by the company. I would have some serious heartburn if I found out the other guy's insurance company was blaming me and filing for damages.

And yeah, I'm already looking at getting a dash cam this next trip out.

Chief's Comment
member avatar

Why do I have a sneaky suspicion that this might be happening only because you're a truck driver and they don't care too much for us in the East?

And Woody, a dashcam is probably the best 80$ you can spend.

After that fiasco I would gladly pay $180 for a good dash cam. You can bet I'm getting one this next trip or as soon as possible. What brand and model do you use Daniel?

Woody's Comment
member avatar

What brand and model do you use Daniel?

Was going to ask the same thing. I know it is one of the ones that can be bought at loves.

I was doing some looking and saw loves has the cobra CDR 810 on sale for $99 plus a $20 mail in rebate bringing it down to $79. Seems like a pretty good deal.

I take it there are no legal issues mounting them on the windshield? I only ask because the pretrip being pounded into my head about no illegal stickers rofl-3.gif

Chief's Comment
member avatar

You can mount stuff to your windshield but it must be outside the driver's sight line to the road, signs, and signals, outside the area swept by the windshield wipers, and technically, items should be no lower than 6 inches below the upper edge of the windshield but I see stuff mounted on the sides and bottom all the time.

My cell phone holder is mounted top left corner, prepass is top dead center, and GPS is bottom dead center (dead area between the wipers).

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Chief, notice on my picture that it is mounted on the very top left corner of my drivers side windshield. I've found that this is the best spot for it because it never gets in the way and you don't have that wire dangling down the center of your windshield.

truck drivers shattered side window from the extreme winter cold

Obviously, if its in the middle of your sight it would be considered illegal. But having it on the corner is completely legal.

I have the Tow Dawg dash cam sold at J's, Pilot, and Love's currently on sale for 80$ down from 100$. I'm happy with the product so far. It comes with 8GB SD card and when you play the video on your laptop, it plays it in HD. Very impressive quality.

The only downside is that its virtually useless in the dark.

I did need to exchange it twice. I bought mine at Love's and both exchanges took less than a minute. Love's has very good customer service with this so I recommend buy it from them.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

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