To help identify drivers for intervention, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) uses a ranking system managed by its Compliance, Safety & Accountability (CSA) program. It can be distressing as a driver to see your percentile rank increase from one month to the next, especially if you don’t understand the reason for it. We discuss some of the most common reasons for a CSA percentile increase below.
Typical reasons for CSA Percentile increases
According to DataQs, another program managed by the FMCSA, a driver’s percentile score can increase for the following reasons:
- New inspection results that were not previously available factoring into the scoring.
- New violations such as speeding, not inspecting the vehicle prior to departure, and incorrect recording of service hours.
- Changes in the driver’s safety event group.
- Updated vehicle miles traveled or power units.
- Time weight changes.
The DataQs program only tracks general reasons for CSA score increases. To determine the exact reason for your percentile change, you will need to review information on each of the BASICs at the FMCSA website. When you click on each BASIC category, which stands for Behavioral Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories, it will display specific details about your own performance in that category.
You will also notice an On-Road Performance Detail tab. The Inspection/Crash tab provides information about what CSA information has changed for you personally since last month. Each BASIC tab will have your history in that category for the last several months as well. This is usually adequate to explain why your percentile rank increased. You can also find information about how the FMCSA Safety Measurement System (SMS) calculates your score for each BASIC.
What you can do to improve your CSA Percentile
The best thing you can do to keep a good score and remain clear of FMCSA intervention is to remain violation-free in each of the following BASICs:
- Controlled Substances and Alcohol
- Crash Indicator
- Driver Fitness
- Hazardous Materials Compliance
- Hours-of-Service Compliance
- Unsafe Driving
- Vehicle Maintenance
The FMCSA also recommends that all drivers and owners of commercial trucking businesses familiarize themselves with each of the agency’s regulations as well as the Hazardous Materials Regulations if that applies to their situation. Every company should have a safety management program in place to help prevent these violations from occurring in the first place. All company owners should update changes such as a new address or other pertinent information as soon as the change takes place. Even with no changes, owners must update carrier information using the MCS-150 form every two years.
Lastly, it’s important for all motor carriers to know and follow the best industry practices. Because the FMCSA may occasionally record incorrect information, it’s also a good idea to review crash report and inspection data frequently. You have the legal right to request corrections when necessary.
Don’t forget to check your big rig insurance often too
Insurance needs change quickly in this industry. Perhaps you now carry hazardous materials and need insurance for it or you feel unsure if you have adequate coverage. These are just the kinds of questions we can help you resolve. It’s easy to get started by completing this form, calling us, or messaging us on LiveChat.