Fleet Safety

Driver Behavior Analytics: Improving Fleet Safety and Efficiency Copy

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) offers a regulatory framework to improve commercial motor vehicle safety. A key element of the FMCSA’s safety and compliance enforcement program is driver CSA scores. The goal: address safety risks and violations on the road.

What Is a CSA Score?

Compliance, Safety, Accountability scores, or CSA scores, assess and monitor fleet safety performance. The purpose of a driver CSA score is to keep fleets accountable for maintaining high safety standards and regulatory compliance.

From CSA scores, operators can identify high-risk drivers and take action to improve outcomes. They can also make sure drivers adhere to hours-of-service requirements and other regulations.

How Is a Driver CSA Score Calculated?

To calculate CSA scores, the FMCSA leverages data from many sources. This can range from roadside inspections, to crash reports, to compliance reviews. Each driver violation or safety-related issue is weighted based on severity.

The next step is to organize the data into seven Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories, or BASICs. They are:

  1. Unsafe driving. Are drivers speeding or making improper lane changes?
  2. Hours-of-service compliance. Are drivers exceeding allowable hours on the road or failing to take rest breaks?
  3. Driver fitness. Do drivers have invalid or suspended licenses?
  4. Controlled substances/alcohol. Have drivers operated a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol?
  5. Vehicle maintenance. Has inadequate maintenance led to brake defects or tire issues?
  6. Hazardous materials compliance. Have hazardous materials been improperly packaged or handled?
  7. Crash indicator. What is the historical crash data for fleet vehicles?

An important note about CSA driver scores is they are weighted by time. Recent violations and safety issues will affect CSA scores more than older ones. This gives fleet operators an incentive to continue improving safety.

Once the FMCSA calculates CSA scores for each BASIC, they combine all the scores to establish an overall safety performance score. The FMCSA makes those CSA scores available to the public on the FMCSA website.

Why It’s Critical to Maintain Good CSA Scores

CSA scores work on a scale of zero to 100. Zero indicates perfect safety performance, while 100 indicates the worst performance. Lower CSA scores are better as they represent fewer safety violations and risks.

For each of the BASICs, the FMCSA provides a benchmark for a fleet’s safety performance compared to its industry peers. A ranking below 50% indicates that an operator’s performance is better than most of its peers.

Being on the right side of the driver CSA score scale is critical. Positive CSA scores help:

  • Improve credibility. Fleets can enhance their reputation and build trust with their network.
  • Maximize business opportunities. Customers and shippers prefer working with fleets that have good CSA scores.
  • Reduce regulatory scrutiny. Fleets can minimize their risk of audits from enforcement agencies.
  • Lower insurance costs.  A strong safety record can prompt companies to offer lower insurance premiums.
  • Improve driver recruitment and retention. A safe, compliant work environment can attract and keep high-quality drivers.

Strategies to Improve CSA Scores for Drivers

Considering the impact of driver CSA scores, it’s only natural for fleets to seek improvement. Effective strategies are:

  • Training your drivers. Develop programs to enhance your drivers’ understanding of safety regulations and follow them. 
  • Implementing preventive maintenance. Make sure vehicles meet safety standards to avoid violations during roadside inspections.
  • Leveraging integrated technology. Use telematics data to keep tabs on driver behavior and track vehicle performance.
  • Turning driver data into feedback. Give drivers constructive feedback to encourage safe driving practices and recognize company leaders.
  • Conducting internal audits. Review internal compliance to pinpoint potential safety issues and ensure records are up-to-date.

Keep Your Driver CSA Scores Low with the Support of Fleet Software

Maintaining low CSA scores for drivers becomes easier with real-time data and insights. That’s what Azuga’s fleet tracking software offers.

With our solutions, fleet operators can oversee driver behavior, vehicle performance, and compliance. They can spot issues like speeding, hours-of-service non-compliance, or missed maintenance. These insights empower operators to intervene before issues escalate.

Learn more about how Azuga can help you lower your CSA scores and improve your fleet safety. Request a demo.