System in Place to Prevent Injury in Georgia from Trucking and Commercial Bus Accidents

There’s a system that will help you to determine which motorcoach company may be the safest for you to travel with. This system is a part of the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) Operational Model and it called the Safety Measurement System (SMS), according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

This system looks into the traveling safety performance of carriers around the county in an attempt to locate dangerous fleets that the Administration feels need an intervention. These interventions are used to help find the problems that a driver or a carrier may have in the ability to prevent commercial bus accidents in Georgia and elsewhere. The program doesn’t stop there. It will continue to monitor companies to determine where problems are improving or getting worse. The new program is a replacement for the SafeStat system.
Our Atlanta trucking accident lawyers understand how important it is for the FMCSA to conduct an intervention with companies that may have a less than perfect record. With the governing of the FMCSA, motorcoach companies are more likely to provide safe modes of transportation. The FMCSA receives a bulk of the safety information from various roadside inspections. The Administration also obtains information regarding State-reported crashes and safety-based violations.

Performance is quantified through these Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs):

-Hours-of-Service/Fatigued Driving: This violation includes drivers of commercial motor vehicles who have been cited for driving while fatigued, sick or in non-compliance with the HOS regulations. This citation also includes violations regarding HOS logbooks and other forms of fatigued driver management.

-Unsafe Driving: This violation occurs when a driver operates a commercial vehicle in a careless or dangerous manner. These violations include recklessness, speeding, inattention, improper lane change, etc.

-Controlled Substances/Alcohol. This violation is issued when a driver is operating a company vehicle while under the influence of illegal drugs, alcohol or while misusing over-the-counter or prescription medications.

-Driver Fitness: This violation is issued when a driver is unfit to operate a commercial vehicle. This can result because of medical qualifications, lack of experience of inadequate training. All drivers must be properly trained and licensed.

-Cargo-Related: A company can receive a violation under this category if it neglected to prevent loads from shifting, spilling or dropping.

-Vehicle Maintenance: This is a violation for failing to properly maintain commercial vehicles. This includes lights, brakes, etc.

-Crash Indicator: This violation will be received when a company experiences frequent accidents. This violation includes both the frequency and the severity of all recorded accidents.

If a company is cited with several of these violations, then the FMCSA will step in and conduct an intervention to ensure that the problems are resolved. All of these factors play a role in your safety and should not be taken lightly. All consumers are urged to check the stats and ratings of a company before taking a trip.


About Michael Sullivan

Michael A. Sullivan is a former federal prosecutor who has more than twenty-five years of experience in sophisticated civil and criminal litigation.

Mr. Sullivan has represented large businesses and individuals in complex cases, many involving fraud and breaches of fiduciary duty. His trial experience over three decades has included white collar criminal cases, civil fraud, business torts, and serious personal injury and death cases. Mr. Sullivan has been selected as a Super Lawyer each year from 2006 to present.

From 1995-98, Mr. Sullivan served under Larry D. Thompson as a federal prosecutor in the Independent Counsel investigation of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which included the prosecution of former Secretary of the Interior James Watt. He also has defended businesses and individuals in white collar criminal investigations and prosecutions, including financial fraud and tax investigations.  Mr. Sullivan has also conducted internal investigations, and has advised organizations on compliance issues.

In addition to handling a variety of complex civil cases, Mr. Sullivan represents whistleblowers worldwide in qui tam litigation under the False Claims Act, in the IRS Whistleblower Program, and in the new SEC and CFTC Whistleblower Programs.

Mr. Sullivan has worked with the False Claims Act since the late 1980s and has both defended and prosecuted cases under the False Claims Act.

Since the December 2006 inception of the new IRS Whistleblower Program, Mr. Sullivan has also represented tax whistleblowers in submissions totaling many billions of dollars. He has also worked with the IRS Whistleblower Office staff in presenting programs on best practices in pursuing IRS Whistleblower claims.

In 2009 and again in 2010, Mr. Sullivan was contacted by staff members of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee to discuss how the new SEC and CFTC Whistleblower Programs under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act should operate. He has also met with the SEC and CFTC Chairmen and senior staff to recommend changes to the proposed rules for SEC and CFTC Whistleblower claims.

In 2014, Mr. Sullivan served as lead counsel to a major international corporation and won an eight-figure jury verdict against defendants who had defrauded the company and breached their fiduciary duties to it.

Mr. Sullivan is a graduate of the University of North Carolina and Vanderbilt Law School, where he was Senior Articles Editor of the Vanderbilt Law Review. He clerked for U.S. District Judge Marvin H. Shoob in Atlanta from 1984-86.