There are millions of drivers on the road every day. That is why trucking companies must stay compliant with federal safety regulations. Staying compliant with federal safety regulations not only helps keep yourself and others on the road safe, but also helps improve your safety scores. A good CSA score is extremely important to the success of a trucking company. Drivers that have a good score have access to preferred loads and reduced insurance rates. Keep reading below for tips on how to improve your CSA score.
What is the CSA Program?
CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability) is a program of the FMCSA that holds truck drivers accountable for their role in safety. The main goal of the CSA program is to prevent accidents from happening on the road and to identify high-risk commercial motor carriers.
Although the FMCSA runs the CSA program, they do not issue CSA scores. The FMCSA created an online Safety Measurement System (SMS) that records data like roadside inspections and crash reports from the last two years. The data is updated monthly and assigned to your DOT number. The FMCSA then organizes the SMS data into seven categories, often referred to as BASICs (Behavior, Analysis, and Safety Improvement).
How to improve your CSA score?
When it comes to CSA scores, the lower the scores the better. Your CSA score determines whether or not you will get a visit from the DOT. Over time, your CSA score can be improved by making safety a core focus of your trucking company.
Prioritize pre-trip inspections
A large percentage of CSA violations are truck-related. This could all be prevented with a pre-trip inspection. Pre-trip inspections are one of the most important things you need to do before any trip. A simple pre-trip inspection helps you get in tune with your truck before your drive. It lets you know if anything is wrong with the truck or needs to be fixed before hitting the road. Not only are you required by law to perform a pre-trip inspection, but it also keeps you and others safe while on the road.
Be more cautious of who you hire
Hiring drivers with a good driving record is crucial if you want to have a good CSA score. Remember that CSA scores use your driver’s crash reports to calculate your score, so if you hire a driver with bad driving history, you are taking on more of a risk.
You have at least two years to challenge a violation. If you challenge a violation and it gets dismissed, it will be removed from your company’s CSA score. The Trucker’s Network has teamed up with CDL Consultants and CDL 360 to provide a full spectrum of safety, compliance, and audit services to our members. CDL Consultants has successfully reduced or dismissed over 35,000 violations and tickets. They have worked with 10s of thousands of drivers and companies including many top 100 carriers. If you need to fight a violation, click here!