Using CSA Scores to Prioritize and Target More Qualified Prospects

Using CSA Scores to Prioritize and Target More Qualified Prospects


Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA), scores can be used to get a view into the safety performance of a fleet. While the CSA program has ignited a debate across the industry regarding the appropriate use of safety data, having safety compliance measures in place is meant to help keep the roadways safe for everyone. The general purpose of the FMCSA’s data-driven safety compliance and enforcement program is to improve safety and prevent Commercial Motor Vehicle crashes, fatalities and injuries and to help carriers and drivers improve safety compliance.

Today CSA scores are still publicly available and conscientious motor carriers are paying more attention than ever to their safety performance. If you’re researching fleet companies, CSA scores can help review safety measure occurrences that are not meeting DOT standards in comparison with fleets in the same/similar industry group. Carriers with higher scores are often preferred by customers and subject to fewer DOT audits or roadside inspections.

The Safety Measurement System is the information collection and analysis component of CSA. The SMS uses compliance and crash information to bring carriers and drivers into safety compliance to prevent crashes and save lives. To break it down, the SMS assigns a ranking, or percentile, for each motor carrier that has information that could be compared against other similar carriers. This percentile ranking allows the safety behavior of a carrier to be compared with the safety behavior of carriers with similar operations and numbers of safety events.

The percentile is computed on a 0-100 scale, with 100 indicating the worst performance and 0 indicating the best performance. Scores are shown as a percentage (relative to other, similar carriers) with 0% being the best and 100% the worst. The carrier in the group with the highest measure will be at the 100th percentile, while the carrier with the lowest measure in the group will be at the 0 percentile. All other carriers in the group will be between these two numbers based on their compliance records. The DOT normally instigates an intervention program around 80% (which means the carrier has a CSA score worse than 80% of other carriers).

If you are researching fleets in FleetSeek, it’s prudent to pay attention to CSA scores on a regular basis to watch for increases and decreases. The CSA score is a rating made up of any violations counted against a carrier. There are more than 700 different violations and FleetSeek captures them in the following categories:

  • Unsafe Driving – Speeding, reckless driving, improper lane change, and inattention.
  • Hours of Service Compliance – fatigued driving, logbook, and operating a Commercial Motor Vehicle
    while ill or fatigued.
  • Driver Fitness – Failure to have a valid and appropriate commercial driver’s license and being medically unqualified to operate a CMV
  • Controlled Substance/ Alcohol Usage – Use or possession of controlled substances/alcohol.
  • Vehicle Maintenance – Brakes, lights, and other mechanical defects, and failure.

In FleetSeek, you can select fleets with performance levels above, below or between certain parameters or thresholds in a single CSA category. To do so, input whole numbers between 0 and 100 (no % sign needed) in the appropriate minimum or maximum box. If you are using two or more safety performance levels, fleets meeting all those measures will be displayed. When picking fleets with 50% + Unsafe Driving and 50%+ Driver Fitness issues, only fleets with both those situations will appear. The default selection includes all Fleet types, but you can limit selection to one or more than one Fleet Type by clicking those you want to include. Remember to clear filters if subsequent searches did not include the same Fleet Types of a previous Search.

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