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What Fleets Need to Know About CSA Scores

Everything You Need To Know About FMCSA’s Compliance Safety Accountability Program

How to measure, quantify, and score risky driving behaviors has become a major focus of the transportation industry over the past several years. Trucking plays a huge role in supporting the U.S. economy with billions of products being shipped by fleets all across the U.S. Each year, a single truck will have driven over 45,000 miles on the road. This, coupled with over 5 million trucks and the 250 million total motorists on the road, shifted the transportation industry’s focus to one thing: Safety. To address this concern, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) launched the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) score program.

What is a CSA Score?

CSA is a scoring system created with the purpose of increasing safety practices for drivers. Motorists, companies, and owner operators alike are held responsible for a set of seven criteria surrounding maintenance, vehicle operations, and crash reports. This information is referred to as Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICS) and is compiled in the FMCSA’s Safety Measurement System (SMS). It is updated monthly as new data becomes available.

What are the CSA Program scoring categories?


  • Vehicle Maintenance
  • HOS Compliance
  • Driver Fitness
  • Improper Drug or Alcohol Use
  • Crash Records
  • Unsafe Driving Habits
  • Hazardous Materials

The CSA program will then assign your fleet a score ranging from 1-10. Any violations in the above criteria will increase your score. The number is not assigned to the driver directly, but to the carrier as a whole, and is used for licensing and insurance purposes.

2019 CSA Program Changes

Many fleets expressed concerns with the current structure of the CSA program saying there was too much variation in the scoring, that it affected smaller fleets disproportionately, and it did not reflect improvements in a fleet’s safety practices over time. These concerns initiated the reconstruction of the program that is currently underway. The CSA has paired up with a government-affiliated think tank, the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NAS), to create a new, more statistically balanced scoring method for the CSA.

While the majority of these changes are being kept under wraps for the time being, the FMCSA anticipates the new CSA scoring program to be released fully in September of 2019. Until then, be sure to set your focus to promoting best safety practices with your drivers through talks, watching your BASICS, and using different driver coaching techniques.

Learn more about how connected dash camera installation could help reduce accidents and improve safety in your fleet.

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