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CSA Scores: What Are They and How Do You Check Them?

Commercial vehicle owners can check their vehicle`s Certificate of Safety and Accident Avoidance (CSA) rating from the US Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The scoring system aims to improve safety and reduce collisions involving commercial vehicles.

This Behavioural Analysis and Safety Improvements Categories (BASICs) are used to classify the owner-safety operator's occurrences to determine scores:

  • Driver Fitness

  • Unsafe Driving

  • Crash Indicator

  • Hazardous Materials Compliance

  • Vehicle Maintenance

  • Controlled Substances/Alcohol

  • Hours-of-Service Compliance

Each incident is given a weighted score that is determined by its gravity and when it happened. Some point values would be, 2-points for lacking physical requirements, 5-points for a wrong-way lane change, 8-points for operating a commercial vehicle without a CDL and 10 points for going at least 15 miles per hour over the speed limit.

An owner-record operator's breach is fully expunged after two years. Only owner-operators looking at their score and law enforcement have access to all seven of the BASICs' absolute measure scores. As a result, owner-operators can focus more on the areas that are contributing to their high score if they see it, because high scores may lead to interventions with the law enforcement agency which may result in expensive inspections and audits. Not only that, sometimes customers have opted to engage with owner-operators based on their ratings, and insurance companies have increased owner-operators' premiums as a result of their high scores, despite the DOT's claims that they never intended for scores to be used for these purposes.

A smart strategy to help improve your CSA score would involve a self-training session at the beginning, followed by regular follow-up training. Since these violations are fully eliminated after two years, even if you have a good score, it's still always important to focus on improving your score.

To learn more, contact M7 TAX today!

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