Screensoft Blog

Feb 07 Written by 

Top 10 Acute Motor Carrier Violations In 2016

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We took a close look at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS) data. We were able to reveal the top 10 acute motor carrier violations nationwide in 2016. This list will give you some insight to learn from the mistakes of other motor carriers. This will help you take corrective action before they're discovered during an audit. 

What is an "acute" motor carrier violation?

An acute violation is a one-time occurrence. They're triggered during an investigation that requires immediate corrective action. The FMCSA considers acute violations "severe".  Acute violations can lead to steep penalties if corrective action isn't taken. 

From the least to most common, here are the top 10 acute motor carrier violations in 2016:

10. (396.17A) Using A CMV Not Periodically Inspected

Kicking off the list, these acute violations were 1.04% of the total. Have a qualified inspector perform commercial motor vehicle and equipment inspections at least once a year.  Also, perform an inspection when you use equipment from an equipment provider. 

9. (172.800B) Transporting HM Without A Security Plan 

These acute violations were 1.57% of the total. When you transport hazardous materials you must develop and follow a security plan. 

8. (382.215) Using A Driver Who Has Tested Positive For A Drug 

These acute violations were 3.13% of the total. We could make a lot of assumptions about how this happens but, there isn't an excuse. If a commercial driver has tested positive for a controlled substance, they can't perform safety-sensitive duties. 

7. (396.9C2) Operating An OOS Vehicle 

You cannot use a commercial vehicle or equipment declared "out-of-service". Make the repairs for the out-of-service notice and avoid the citation. These acute violations were 3.61% of the total. 

6. (387.7A) Inadequate Or No Financial Responsibility 

These acute violations were 5.74% of the total. Before operations, get your motor carrier business bonded and insured.

5. (383.37C) Allowing Driver With More Than One CDL To Operate A CMV

This violation can slip through the cracks. Qualify your drivers by querying their information in the CDLIS. (Commercial Drivers License Information System). These acute violations were 7.22% of the total.  

4. (390.35) Requiring, Permitting Or Making False Statements Or Records  

We're surprised that these acute violations were 7.30% of the total. They're completely avoidable. Don't do it. 

3. (382.305) Failing To Implement Random Controlled Substance Or Alcohol Testing Program  

Employers, administer a random drug or alcohol testing program or join a consortium. For owner-operators, you must enroll in a consortium. The acute violations were 13.88% of the total.

2. (383.37A) Allowing Driver To Operate With Suspended/Revoked/Etc. CDL

Commercial drivers will worry about losing their jobs so, they may not admit to licensing suspensions. Run annual motor vehicle record reports to check the license status of your drivers. These acute violations were 16.45% of the total. 

1. (382.115A) Failing To Implement An Alcohol And/Or Drug Testing Program   

We made it to the number one most common acute motor carrier violation in 2016. A drug and alcohol testing program can have a big impact on your business. More than most employers realize. These acute violations accounted for 27.09% of the total. 

Need help implementing a DOT drug and alcohol testing program?

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There you have it. Benchmark your business against these national statistics. Did your motor carrier business receive any of these violations in 2016?

Source: FMCSA Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS) data snapshot as of 1/27/2017, accessed Feb 7, 2017,  

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32354 Last modified on Monday, 22 March 2021
Hagen DeRouen

Co-founder & CEO at Screensoft. 10+ years of experience with employment screening program management and guidance. Certifications including FCRA basic, MRO assistant, and professional collector trainer.