Let’s face it, after you get to college, no one really cares what your ACT and SAT scores were. But your CSA? Your career as a truck driver depends on your CSA, so you need to know exactly what it means and how to keep it low.
In a nutshell, the CSA (Compliance Safety Accountability) is your driving record. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there are currently five million truck and bus drivers sharing the road with more than 250 million motorists. Commercial vehicles must be driven safely and in compliance with driving regulations.
This is how the CSA works; when drivers receive violations, they are assigned safety numbers between 0 and 100. Drivers are encouraged to keep those numbers well below 65 if they want to maintain good driving standing.
A CSA score is comprised of the following data:
- Unsafe Driving– Speeding, no seatbelts, driving recklessly, inattention
- Crash Indicator– Accident history (not public info)
- Hours-of-Service Compliance– Any noncompliance with HOS regulations, including logbooks
- Vehicle Maintenance– Brakes, lights, defects, failure to make necessary repairs
- Controlled Substances/Alcohol– Use or possession of controlled substances, alcohol
- Hazardous Materials Compliance– Leaking containers, improper packaging (not public info)
- Driver Fitness– Invalid license, medically unfit to operate a commercial motor vehicle
If you want to maintain legal compliance and business competitiveness, you must adhere to these regulations. There are some practical actions you can take to keep you CSA scores low!
If you, as a driver, commit to your company’s health and fitness guidelines and conduct a pre-trip inspection of your rig before every road trip, you can prevent some basic infractions that can have significant impact to your CSA score. Be sure to check your tires, brakes, engine and horns, and inspect the inside of the cab. The few minutes these steps take are paramount as you limit the score on this critical report card.
In order to check your CSA score, visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. When you enter your USDOT number and PIN into the SMS login page, you’ll be able to locate your score. If you don’t have a PIN, you can request one from USDOT. Delivery of your PIN typically takes 4-7 days.