Safety is of the utmost importance for fleets, drivers, and traffic authorities. Keeping all drivers safe, including fleet drivers and other drivers on the road, is a top priority of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This is why they created the CSA safety compliance and enforcement program to ensure that fleet drivers keep the roads safe. The FMCSA ranks fleets together based on their number of safety events and assigns them a CSA score. This score can have far-reaching consequences, so fleets, customers, and inspectors take them very seriously. This guide will explain CSA scores in greater detail.
How is a CSA Score Calculated?
There are seven indicators that the FMCSA takes into account when calculating a fleet’s CSA score:
- Unsafe Driving: Behaviors such as speeding, improper lane changes, and not wearing a seatbelt count against your score.
- Crashes: Drivers’ involvement in crashes will count against their fleet.
- Hours of Service (HOS) Compliance: Operating a vehicle for longer than regulations allow or not keeping records of hours will count against a fleet.
- Vehicle Maintenance: Not properly maintaining a vehicle is a CSA violation.
- Controlled Substances / Alcohol: Driving under the influence will count as a safety violation.
- Hazardous Materials Compliance: Handling hazardous materials in an unsafe manner will count against a fleet.
- Driver Fitness: If a driver is unfit to operate a commercial vehicle, it will count against the fleet’s CSA score.
Do Truck Drivers Have a CSA Score?
The short answer is no, they do not. While an individual driver’s actions impact a company’s CSA score, drivers themselves do not have CSA scores. CSA scores evaluate a fleet company, not a specific driver. Companies need to hire vetted drivers with positive reputations to ensure their scores are not negatively affected by driver behavior. A CSA score has a significant impact on a company’s reputation in the community. After all, it tells others how safe a fleet’s drivers are out on the road. Customers and partners want to know that fleets are doing everything possible to be safe, and having a good CSA score shows that.
How Can a Company Check Its CSA Score?
You can check your CSA score at any time by registering for a PIN with the US Department of Transportation. If you search your Department of Transportation number at csa.fmcsa.dot.gov, you can find your CSA score easily. Certain BASIC statistics are also available through the CSA website, allowing businesses to prioritize safety.
What is a Good CSA Score for a Company?
There is no standard for a “good” or a “bad” CSA score. Instead, evaluate the standards in your area and what your partners and customers think is a “good” or “bad” score. Generally, however, a score over 65% is consistent with unsafe driving, increased accidents, and HOS violations. Drivers with scores higher than 65% are more likely to be subject to FMCSA investigations. If fleets carry hazardous materials or passengers, the threshold is even lower, at 60% or even 50%.
When a company has a high CSA score, the FMCSA is likely to intervene. This can involve targeted letters or a higher susceptibility for roadside inspections. Investigators can also review documentation offsite, come onsite and review safety issues at your company’s location, or complete a comprehensive investigation looking at everything onsite at your company. These investigations take up time and personnel, so it’s better to avoid having a high CSA score to circumvent having to deal with them in the first place.
How Do I Fix My CSA Score?
If your CSA score is high, it isn’t a permanent burden you have to carry. You can fix it by shifting your focus to prioritize safety. Here are three steps you can take to improve your CSA score.
- Train Drivers. Driver safety training is an absolute necessity if you want to encourage safe behavior among your fleet. Retraining existing drivers may seem like a tedious task, but all drivers could use refreshers, and your drivers may have fallen into some bad habits once they got comfortable behind the wheel. Train your drivers specifically on safety violations that they have committed, and you will find a significant reduction in the number of infractions that count against your CSA score.
- Hire Carefully. Even with the driver shortage ongoing, it’s important to vet your drivers thoroughly before hiring them. Make sure you use PSP records to evaluate your drivers before you bring them onto the team, and as mentioned, train them properly before putting them behind the wheel.
- Set Up Scheduled Maintenance. Some of the top violations that count against a company’s CSA score are tires and lights. These are such easy violations to avoid if you are keeping up with your vehicles’ maintenance. Set up scheduled maintenance alerts that will easily keep your vehicles in top shape, so you don’t have to worry about losing the easy points.
CSA violations are an immense burden for fleet companies to carry. Still, they can be avoided by fleets who prioritize and value safety above all else for their drivers and other people on the road. Azuga’s technology helps track unsafe driving behaviors, keep vehicles maintained, and keeps drivers in compliance with HOS. All of these features will help your fleet keep its CSA score low and its drivers safe. Find out more by checking out Azuga today!