The CSA, or Compliance, Safety, Accountability, is a big deal in the trucking world. It’s all about safety and prioritizing which carriers need intervention. There’s a lot to learn about the CSA. It’s helpful to have an understanding of what the CSA does and what you should expect. Here are a few things you should know about the CSA.
7 things to know about the CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability)
1. Compliance, Safety, Accountability is used to prioritize carriers for intervention.
The CSA is used to figure out which carriers need intervention. It uses data to determine where resources need to go – to the carriers that need intervention the most, whether that’s in the form of a warning letter or an investigation. (It’s also important to note that CSA affects motor carriers and owner-operators alike. For drivers, CSA affects their record, and if a driver is working for a motor carrier, it’ll impact the carrier’s safety record.) The CSA website goes over all of this in detail.
2. You can safety performance data.
The CSA website allows you to check motor carrier safety and Performance Data. You can search by name, USDOT Number, or MC Number. And if you need more detailed safety data, you can sign into the SMS. It’s important to keep tabs on your safety record. (The CSA website also has a lot of resources that can help you out with safety.)
3. A lot of details are used to evaluate carriers.
The SMS takes a lot of different factors into account when it comes to prioritizing carriers for intervention. They look at the carrier’s safety violations and inspections, for starters. But they also look at how severe violations or crashes are. The timing is also a big deal, as more recent events count more heavily than events that happened further in the past. The number of vehicle miles and the number of trucks the carrier operates also play a part in the prioritization process. Lastly, Acute and Critical classifications also count.
4. The SMS is updated monthly.
The FMCSA’s SMS has a record of a motor carrier’s safety data. This data is updated monthly. (Those updates come from data from roadside inspections, which means driver/vehicle violations, crash reports for the prior 24 months, and results from investigations.) It’s easy to keep track of your safety data online.
5. Carriers are grouped with others to determine percentiles.
Now, how exactly are carriers assessed within the BASICs? The SMS groups carriers by lumping together companies that have similar numbers of safety events, like crashes, violations, or inspections. Then the carriers are assigned a percentile from 0 – 100. The catch is that having a high percentile is not good – that means the safety performance was poor. That’s how carriers are prioritized for intervention.
6. There are seven BASIC categories.
Motor carriers also have to understand the seven BASIC categories. The SMS data that’s collected is organized into different groups. The categories are:
- Unsafe Driving
- Crash Indicator
- Hours-of-Service Compliance
- Vehicle Maintenance
- Controlled Substances/Alcohol
- Hazardous Materials Compliance
- Driver Fitness
7. Get Road Smart can help.
The CSA also has Get Road Smart to present helpful information. On the Get Road Smart site, you can learn more about the CSA, check the SMS, get driver records, request data reviews through DataQs, and learn more about improving safety and compliance.
So, those are some of the important things to know about the CSA. Having an understanding of how all that works is helpful for any trucking business. There are a lot of regulations to keep track of and there is a lot of data to interpret. The thing is that being a trucking business means that safety has to be key. That’s was the CSA is about.
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