The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) uses the CSA score to assess if a fleet and its vehicle carriers are high-risk. What does CSA mean? The CSA score stands for Compliance, Safety, Accountability. The FMCSA CSA program is a preventive measure to reduce accidents and increase the accountability of carrier safety programs. 

Your fleet business benefits from good CSA scores. You’re more likely to receive lower annual insurance premiums and have fewer DOT audits and road inspections. More drivers will want to work with you and customers have reasons to continue doing business.

If your CSA score is bad, the FMSCA  will monitor your operations and request corrective actions based on the score. Your fleet company’s safety data is found on the FMSCA’s Safety Measurement System (SMS). This data is updated once a month based on how your drivers performed in roadside inspections, state-reported crashes, and investigation results in the last two years. According to the FMSCA, the SMS data is organized under seven Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories or BASICs:

  1. Unsafe driving that covers violations such as speeding, improper lane change, inattention, no seatbelts, and reckless driving.
  2. Crash indicator or your history of crash involvement 
  3. hours-of-service compliance which includes noncompliance to HOS regulations and logbooks.
  4. Vehicle maintenance of brakes, lights, defects, and failure to make required repairs.
  5. Controlled substances/alcohol
  6. Hazardous materials compliance, e.g. leaking containers or improper packaging.
  7. Driver fitness violations are an invalid license or being medically unfit to operate a carrier motor vehicle (CMV).

Find out how you can get a good CSA score and how the points are calculated to improve your fleet’s reputation.

What is a good CSA score?

What is a CSA score? A driver CSA score is composed of two other components, besides the SMS. It also considers the interventions made, and the Safety Fitness Determination (SFD) rating system. Carriers are ranked based on the SMS data and they are assigned a percentile. The score or CSA safety rating is found between a 0 to 100 percentile. 

How many CSA points is bad? The higher the percentile, the more dangerous your record. While 0 achieves a perfect score, no average or exact number defines a good CSA score.

You can also read the CSA score chart based on how the FMSCA prioritizes interventions. They are more likely to intervene where you score higher in the BASICs. But there are also specific BASICs thresholds that are lower in percentile compared to others. Their analysis showed that unsafe driving, crash indicator, and hours-of-service compliance BASICS have the highest crash risk, so these categories lowered the threshold.

How do you check your CSA score?

It’s easy to check for your CSA score. Go to the FMSCA website and enter your registered name or DOT number. For non-public data such as the hazardous material compliance and crash indicator, login using your FMSCA pin or request the PIN from this site if you don’t have it.

How do you improve your CSA score?

Improve your CSA score with strategic moves and preventive action:

    • Maximize Pre-employment screening program reports in your hiring process. These reports show how safe your potential drivers are on the road and ensure you only hire those who comply with the rules and regulations.
    • Be strict about vehicle maintenance. Lights and tires are among the common violations in roadside inspections. 
  • Install dash cameras that will accurately analyze driver behavior and external factors on the road. Intelligent dash cams can accurately capture incidences and identify any incoming problems to better prepare your drivers.
  • Upgrade to an electronic logging database to record accurately every driver’s hours of service. HOS is the most common violation found in CSA scores. Having a digital record that drivers can easily access and log onto keeps the data secured.

A List of CSA Violations

Any driver violations have an assigned severity weight according to FMSCA’s SMS. Any recent violations have a heavier weight compared to others. Here’s a list of these violations based on the points it grants to your score:

  • 6-point violations: operating a CMV with obscured lights; inoperable lamps or turn signal
  • 7-point violations: not using a seatbelt; failing to provide supporting documents upon request; pressuring or requiring driver service above 11 hours; speeding from 11-14 mph past the limit.
  • 8-point violations: unqualified or unfit driver; lack of the correct commercial driver’s license endorsement
  • 10-point violations: reckless driving, possession or use of drugs, operating a CMV while using a phone or texting, speeding in a work or construction zone, driving after a HOS violation, and driving a CMV while tired or ill.

Final Thoughts

Maintaining a good CSA score benefits your fleet and drivers in the long runlog in. By taking preventive actions and knowing what it takes to get a good driver CSA score, your business can save money and ensure everyone’s safety.

Want to know more about CSA scores? Check out this comprehensive article on everything you need to know about CSA scores.

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