October 7, 2013


A man using a computer with the text on the image "What Is My CSA Score?"
Knowing what a Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) score is and what it can mean for your trucking company is crucial to keeping your business on the road. Your CSA score can determine how often your company will be pulled for inspections and help the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) decide if your company is due for a safety audit or compliance review.

This video will show you step by step how to log into the FMCSA CSA Safety Management System (SMS), so you can check your scores. It also explains how to read your CSA score too. The FMCSA has recently updated their website, but the process to view your score is relatively the same.

What Is the CSA?

CSA stands for Compliance, Safety, Accountability, and it is a program within the FMCSA. They are in charge of reporting the safety measurements of trucking companies to make sure they’re staying compliant with the FMCSA.

What Are the Seven BASICs?

Your CSA score is listed under seven Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs). The seven categories are:

  • Unsafe driving
  • Crash indicator
  • Hours of service compliance
  • Vehicle maintenance
  • Controlled substances/alcohol
  • Hazardous materials compliance
  • Driver fitness

All categories except crash indicator and hazardous materials compliance are visible to the public and each has a separate score.

How Do You Read Your CSA Score?

Your score is based on a percentile from 0 to 100 on each category based on trucking companies similar to yours. The lower the percentile the better. For example, if you had an unsafe driving score of 64%, that means that your company had more violations than 64% of similar trucking companies in that BASIC.

Why Is a CSA Score Important?

Your CSA score determines whether or not your company is properly following the regulations set by the FMCSA. If any of your BASICs scores are higher than a certain threshold, you could be faced with a warning letter from the FMCSA and eventually be contacted to perform a compliance review.

The thresholds for each BASIC are:
Threshold table of BASICs scores from FMCSA document.

If you have any questions about your CSA score and why it’s important for your trucking company, give the coaches at Progressive Reporting a call! We’re happy to answer any questions you may have about making sure that your trucking company is compliant the FMCSA. To continue learning, you can keep reading below about the CSA and your CSA score.

Call Progressive Reporting

How Is Your CSA Score Calculated?

The FMCSA gathers data from a number of places, including:

  • Roadside inspections
  • Investigations
  • State-reported commercial vehicle crash data
  • Motor carrier census data

From there, they create two scores: the percentile and the prioritization status. The percentile is a motor carrier’s actual safety score and helps determine if the motor carrier needs to go through a compliance review. This rating is on a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 being the worst.

The BASIC measure determines if the safety violations a motor carrier has accrued should be a higher priority for an investigation based on the type of violation, the number of times it’s happened, and when the violation happened. The higher the measure, the more likely your company will be picked for an investigation.

How Do You Improve Your CSA Score?

While there’s no way to immediately improve your score, there are a few ways you can keep your score low and make sure it doesn’t get any higher. You can:

  • Make sure your trucking company is following all regulations set by the FMCSA. If you want to know if your company is staying under regulations, give us a call and we can walk you through everything you need.
  • Submit your MCS-150 as part of the biennial update or if any of your company’s information has changed.
  • Review your inspections and crash reports data. If there are any errors or problems, request corrections to be made through the FMCSA.
  • Go through inspections without any violations. This will help your score over time as violations listed in your CSA score are worth fewer points the older they are. For example, after six months, the severity weight of the violation decreases from three to two. After one year, that violation will only have one severity weight and in two years, the violation is completely removed from the record. Some companies like to create an incentive for drivers like giving them a small money bonus if they have a clean inspection.

If you’ve been sent a warning letter because of a high CSA score, make sure to prepare for a compliance review.

How Progressive Reporting Can Help

We don’t want your CSA scores to hurt your company. If your CSA scores are above the threshold in any of the BASICs, we can help you prepare for a compliance review. Our DIY audit assistance package helps you prepare everything you need to pass with flying colors. You can order it online here. If you have any questions about our audit package or your CSA score, just give us a call! We’re happy to answer any questions you have.

Call Progressive Reporting

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