In 2010, the FMCSA introduced the Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) program. The purpose of this program is to ensure drivers are safe and responsible while on the road. Data gathered from inspections, crash reports, investigations, and registration details are all factored into CSA scores. Furthermore, the goal is to obtain a good score as it shows your dedication to safety and following the rules.
How CSA Scores Are Calculated
Scores derive from seven categories, the Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories, otherwise known as BASICs.
- Unsafe Driving: speeding, not wearing a seat belt, tailgating, improper lane changes or texting while driving.
- Driver Fitness: having no CDL, suspended license, medical conditions, or inexperience.
- Hours-of-Service Compliance: hours-of-service violations such as driving beyond the hourly limits, driving while sick or tired, or fabricating logs.
- Vehicle Maintenance: defects, faulty equipment, not securing cargo properly, tire depth, and other vehicle-related issues.
- Controlled Substances: operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol, including over the counter or prescription medication.
- Crash indicator: crash involvement within the last 24 months.
- Hazardous materials compliance: unsafe or incorrect handling, improper placarding or missing shipping papers.
How to Improve Your CSA Scores
Moreover, one way to improve your score is by staying out of incidents or crashes. Any violation or crash that occurred within the previous 24 months impacts the carrier. Whereas, any violation that occurred within the last 36 months can affect the driver’s score. In addition, drivers and carriers can also:
- Stress the importance of safety in everything, and in turn, your employees will see it as a priority.
- Educate staff on what CSA scores are and what they mean too. Also, communicate your expectations of them and express the seriousness of violations.
- Get ahead of the problem. Avoid mechanical violations or non-compliance issues in the future by effecting mandatory pre-trip inspections.
Take the Initiative
Furthermore, make safety a priority. When the leader takes action, employees will too. Instead of waiting for the next evaluation, watch your safety and driver performance to correct your CSA score in real-time.