Austin Online Promotes Tips for Improving CSA Scores

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A large portion of the fatal accidents that occur on America’s roads each year involve semi-trucks. To reduce the frequency of semi-truck accidents, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) established the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program, which assigns scores to each trucking company based on its overall safety record. It’s up to the trucking companies to ensure CSA compliance, not the individual drivers, so transportation industry leaders should read on to find out how to improve CSA scores and boost the company’s reputation.

Learn How CSA Scores Are Calculated

The FMCSA uses multiple resources to calculate CSA scores, from inspection results to crash data. The information can be grouped into seven categories, known within the industry as the CSA Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement (BASIC) categories. Carriers should learn the facts here now to avoid wracking up points. The seven categories are:

  • Unsafe driving

  • Fatigued driving

  • Crash indicators

  • Driver fitness

  • Vehicle maintenance

  • Controlled substance use

  • Hazardous materials compliance

The FMCSA assigns a score from one to ten in each category. The most serious violations are ranked 10’s, while according to, minor infractions may only receive one or two points. When the scores are added up, the total creates a basis for the carrier’s CSA score.

Hire the Best Drivers

Most CSA violations involve actions taken by truckers while they’re behind the wheel. Hiring drivers who don’t have adequate experience or failing to review their PSP records can lead to serious trouble for the company. Perform background checks and interview new hires carefully to make sure they take driver safety and CSA compliance very seriously. While vetting new hires is extremely important, it’s equally essential to provide ongoing training. Using guardrails can promote safer driving practices, but don’t forget to focus on teaching the latest safety standards and the value of consistent CSA compliance. 

A lot of fleet managers assume that if they hire competent drivers with good safety records, they’ll have nothing to worry about when it comes to CSA compliance. Driver management software like that supplied by Tenstreet makes it easier to provide ongoing training, even while the company’s truckers are out on assignments.

Prioritize Vehicle Maintenance

Seemingly minor problems can add up to an unacceptably high CSA score. The good news is, vehicle maintenance is well within the purview of fleet managers, so this factor can be controlled with relative ease. Make preventative maintenance a priority and try to address potential problems before they come up. This strategy won’t just improve CSA scores. It will also help to reduce the cost of repairs.

The FMCSA established the BASIC checklist for a reason. Its purpose is to evaluate each company’s driver safety standards to protect not just truckers, but also all the other drivers on the road. There’s no way to control how drivers of smaller passenger cars will behave, but fleet managers can do their part to avoid accidents by taking CSA compliance seriously and working to keep the company’s scores low. It’s a simple matter of following the advice above.

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