How the FMCSA Determines CSA Scores

CSA-Score

CSA Scores

The FMCSA utilizes a safety rating system to identify carriers needing intervention. By better understanding what goes into your CSA Score, you can reduce risk, costs, and your likelihood of a full compliance review.

TERMS

• FMCSA – Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
The federal department charged with reducing the number of injuries and deaths associated with commercial motor vehicles (CMVs).

• CSA – Compliance, Safety, Accountability.
The FMCSA’s current operational model. It includes data collection, measurement, safety evaluations and interventions.

 SMS – Safety Measurement System.
Designed to quantify on-road safety performance.

• BASIC – Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories.
Ranking areas for the Safety Measurement System (SMS).

DATA COLLECTION

CSA is a data heavy system designed to systematically quantify a carrier’s need for intervention.

How data is collected:
• Roadside Inspections
• Violations and OOS Orders
• State-Reported Commercial Vehicle Crash Data
• Motor Carrier Census Data

BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS AND SAFETY IMPROVEMENT CATEGORIES (BASIC)

SMS utilizes the BASIC categories to determine the fitness of a carrier in seven specific areas.

• Unsafe Driving – Includes most moving violations.

• Hours of Service Compliance – Violations of driving time or failing to maintain appropriate hours of service records.

• Vehicle Maintenance – Failing to maintain equipment through preventative and corrective maintenance.

• Controlled Substances and Alcohol – Includes both failure to drug test drivers and allowing drivers to operate impaired.

• Hazardous Materials Compliance – Unsafe handling of hazardous materials.

• Driver Fitness – Use of drivers lacking training, experience, or those not medically qualified.

• Crash Data* – Histories and patterns of crash involvement.

*Not technically a BASIC category, but crash data is used to determine the carrier rating.

HOW YOUR CSA SCORE IS CALCULATED

Utilizing the BASIC information, violations and incidents are assigned point values based upon the following:

• Violation Severity – Different violations are assigned different point values
• Crash Severity – Injuries, fatalities and hazmat carry extra weight
• Time Weights – More recent events have a higher multiplier

The point totals are then normalized to account for size and number of inspection. Finally, the carrier is assigned a percentile rank based upon comparison with others in their Safety Event group.

CONSEQUENCES OF A HIGH RANKING

The goal of every carrier should be to minimize their overall CSA Score. A higher score can lead to the following:

• Increased FMCSA intervention
• Possible reduction in safety rating
• Loss of current/future clients
• Higher insurance rates
• Increased likelihood of being involved in a catastrophic event

SUMMARY

Every interaction with enforcement officials has the potential to impact your overall score. By maintaining a low CSA Score, a company can reduce risk and save money.

Limo & Bus Compliance works with your team to help keep your CSA score low through systematic compliance processes.

We can help restore your satisfactory safety rating if you’ve received a rating of “conditional” or “unsatisfactory”.

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