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What are Safety Event Groups and how are they used?

Compliance and Safety Accountability (CSA) is a program operated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) that uses Safety Event Groups to help rank motor carriers in terms of safety. The CSA first used this methodology in 2010 when it replaced Peer Groups. It also stopped assigning Average Power Units at that time to categorize fleets. The change caused some fleets to see a large fluctuation in their percentile ranking as compared to their peers. We’ll explain what Safety Event Groups are.

Understanding Safety Event Groups

Behavioral Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC) is part of the methodology for CSA’s Safety Measurement System. Under the Safety Event Group methodology, the FMCSA categorizes fleets based on their BASIC ranking and the number of events each has experienced. An event is typically an at-fault crash, traffic ticket, relevant inspections, and an inspection that resulted in one or more violations. It then ranks the fleets against others in the BASIC group to assign a percentile ranking to each one.

An especially important thing for all motor carriers to understand is that a Safety Event Group does not rank motor carriers based on their specific industry or the types of commodities they normally haul. Instead, motor carriers are compared to other motor carriers with the same or a similar number of safety events. The CSA can and does move motor carriers from one Safety Event Group to another as their number of safety events changes throughout the year.

The five categories of Safety Event Groups

The FMCSA divides fleets into a Safety Event Group based on the following unique factors:

  • Controlled Substance and Alcohol: The only factor considered here is the number of relevant inspections. Those with one are assigned to Safety Event Group 1, two to Safety Event Group 2, and up to a total of four inspections and four groups.
  • Crash Indicator: This Safety Event Group considers the number of crashes and combo truck segments in one category and number of crashes and straight truck segments in the other. The rankings start at two for each category and go up to 46 and 27 respectively. The Crash Indicator Safety Event Group has five levels.
  • HOS Compliance, Vehicle Maintenance, and Driver Fitness: This considers only the number of inspections and assigns fleets to one of five groups based on numbers ranging from five to 500.
  • HM Compliance: With the number of relevant inspections ranging from five to 100, this Safety Event Group has five classifications.
  • Unsafe Driving: This group considers the factors of the number of inspections and combo truck segments along with the number of inspections and straight truck segments. Numbers in the first category range from three to 150 while numbers in the second category range from three to 50.

Proper truck insurance is a part of safe driving.

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