CSA: The Importance Of The Truck Driver

CSA: the Importance of the Truck Driver

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) new Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program is designed to improve overall safety performance by allowing greater scrutiny of truck companies and their drivers.

The program uses "compliance, enforcement, and remediation" to improve safety on the highways. Truck companies and their drivers are required to comply with the FMCSA's regulations, when they fail, enforcement procedures are applied and remediation is used to correct drivers or companies.

Need for a New Evaluation Process

The CSA was created to improve the safety performance in light of fixed resources. The FMCSA could not perform enough Compliance Reviews (CR) to cover the 700,000 trucking companies, and the CSA better focuses the agency's resources on the greatest danger to motorists: large commercial trucks.

The CSA has three components:

  • Measurement: safety performance, to examine the "risk behavior" of carriers that leads to truck crashes.
  • Evaluation: designed to target the "specific safety problem."
  • Intervention: data is collected to allow enforcement intervention to "effectively and efficiently to improve safety on our roads."

A story from Truckinginfo.com describes how the CSA program is changing how trucking companies hire new truck drivers. Driver qualifications are important within CSA, and the process enables truck companies to more closely review a driver's record, and improve their CSA by hiring better, safer drivers.

Truck Drivers and Accidents

The human component plays a significant role in truck accidents. Drivers can fall asleep, use alcohol or drugs, speed, and drive irresponsibility, placing other motorists at risk for injuries and death.

The Basics of BASIC

The CSA uses a Safety Measurement System (SMS) to rate each motor carrier. The data to create the SMS is based on ratings derived from the Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC).

The BASIC ranking is based on percentile ranks for five of the seven BASICs: Unsafe Driving, Fatigued Driving (Hours-of-Service), Controlled Substances/Alcohol, Driver Fitness, and Vehicle Maintenance.

The goal of the new CSA procedures is to better allow the FMCSA to narrow its intervention to motor carriers that the data show have higher than average preventable/accountable crash rates.