Carrier Safety Rating
If the recent $23 million jury verdict against CH Robinson, for a fatal accident by one of their carriers, is not overturned on appeal, your responsibility to ensure that you are brokering only to “safe” carriers is much more important than a year ago. If brokers and 3PLs can be held liable for unsafe actions of carriers and their drivers, it is incumbent upon every broker to practice “due diligence” in monitoring carrier safety ratings.
With the new FMCSA Safety Rating measurement system (CSA 2010), which could update carrier safety rating monthly, your “due diligence” practices regarding carrier safety will become more involved and your company’s safety procedures will need to be checked and updated soon.
Several states have already implemented the CSA2010 monitoring process, and by the middle of 2010 all states will be required to it. At that time, the Safer and SafeStat programs will be replaced by CSA 2010. Not only will the carrier be rated, but also the drivers. All violations and inspections will update the carrier and driver safety ratings monthly.
You need to start preparing your brokerage company for this new program. You will need to implement a regular carrier safety update procedure so that when you book a load on a carrier you can be certain that the carrier has a good safety rating on the new CSA 2010 webpage.
Failure to ensure you are brokering only to safe carriers could leave your company liable, just as CH Robinson was found liable. Even if the CH Robinson verdict is overturned on appeal, there have been other recent jury verdicts that ruled against brokers that do not practice “due diligence” in selecting their carriers. “Schramm versus Foster” is one example of a “due diligence” court case involving brokers and 3PLs.
Do your homework. Update your safety procedures. Do not leave yourself open for potential, company destroying, lawsuits.
A good brokerage software package can make monitoring your carrier safety and insurance files much easier. If you do not have software or are not satisfied with your current software, contact us today for a free demo of TruckMaster Freight Brokerage Software.
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