Keeping Your Vehicle Maintenance BASIC Scores Low

Oct 12, 2023 | Business Insurance

Did you realize that a CSA score can be impacted by 900 different violations? The most important factors are the number, severity, and timeliness of a driver or carrier’s offences, whether they were for reckless driving, a poorly maintained vehicle, drug use, or excessive hours worked. CSA scores can significantly impact a firm, particularly its capacity to attract and retain drivers, even though there are many unknowns.

According to the existing method, the FMCSA classifies and grades drivers and carriers each month according to the quantity of accidents, inspections, or violations they have encountered, and gives them a percentile from 0 to 100. The likelihood that the FMCSA will give them priority status for inspections and investigations increases with the greater the number, the worse the performance.


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The CSA system is slated for a revamp, which will place a stronger emphasis on preventing crashes rather than just estimating their likelihood. The seven BASICs—dangerous driving, fatigued driving, driver fitness, drugs and alcohol, vehicle maintenance, cargo-related, and crash indicator—will still be used in the new system, but violations will be given a different weighting. Widespread infractions by drivers and carriers will result in punishment because this is a sign of a dangerous workplace environment.


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Here are four justifications for why it’s crucial to keep your fleet’s CSA score low.

Lower Probability of FMCSA Interventions

In addition to serving as the FMCSA’s primary instrument for assessing a carrier’s collision risk, the BASICs that make up the CSA scores are also used by the FMCSA to identify specific carriers for intervention. The Inspection Selection System (ISS) scores, which are used to decide how frequently a carrier’s trucks should be inspected, are calculated by FMCSA using BASICs.

The FMCSA may also target specific carriers for roadside inspections and issue warning letters in response to CSA breaches. They can also result in even more time-consuming on-site investigations that demand vehicle inspections, staff interviews, and even necessary corrective actions, fines, and orders to cease all motor vehicle operations if safety doesn’t improve.


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Your insurance premiums will be less expensive.

Carriers who perform badly with the seven BASICs not only run the possibility of an FMCSA investigation, but they may also face higher insurance premiums, higher deductibles, and potentially coverage refusal. Roadside inspections are requested in about a third of cases because of observable car problems, like damaged or non-working lights and worn tyres. These kinds of vehicle maintenance violations build up and lower scores are impacted.

When assessing a carrier’s risk, many insurance companies look at their BASICs, particularly if they have a history of violations for poor vehicle maintenance, reckless driving, crash indicators, or HOS compliance. Poor ratings are associated by the FMCSA with a higher crash risk, and insurance companies frequently take this into account when setting premiums.


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Your Capability to Sell Will Increase

Customers frequently use the CSA ratings of carriers to select a provider. Customers may see a low CSA score as an indication that a carrier could not be dependable, while the FMCSA may view it as a safety issue. A carrier’s drivers might not be able to complete their deliveries on schedule if they are frequently stopped for maintenance issues or singled out for scrutiny. Therefore, carriers are better able to retain existing customers and draw in new ones by keeping a high CSA score. It demonstrates their capability to deliver on the task for which they were engaged.


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You’ll Have More Success Recruiting New Drivers

Not just customers evaluate a carrier based on its CSA rating. They are also considered by prospective drivers when choosing which business to drive for. Drivers are more inclined to select a fleet that prioritizes safety and crash prevention since they don’t want to drive hazardous vehicles or have their employers’ ratings suffer. Any advantage a business can offer in luring drivers amid what is anticipated to be a persistent driver shortage is advantageous.

Keeping drivers working safely is the greatest method to keep a high CSA score. Fleet management should encourage preterit checks of brakes, lights, and tyres considering the CSA system change later this year, which will place more emphasis on safety culture than risk prediction. This will help fleet management avoid the most frequent vehicle maintenance infractions.


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They could also want to think about adding electronic logging devices (ELDs) like the Galaxy Tab Active Pro to monitor drivers for risky behaviors like speeding or texting and to lower the likelihood of HOS compliance violations. After all, the safety of a fleet depends entirely on its drivers.

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Categories for Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement (BASIC):

Unsafe Driving Crash Indicator 

 Not in Use During Public Hours (HOS) Compliance

Automotive Maintenance

Alcohol and controlled substances: hazardous materials Not Public Driver Fitness: Compliance


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Here are a few doable strategies to lower the chance of infractions and stay clear of penalty points in each BASIC.

  • Driving Dangerously / Crash Indicator
  • Avoid drivers that have a speeding record 
  • Distractions in the cab, like as texting and eating, should be avoided, or minimized 
  • Driver distraction is at blame for 71% of crashes involving heavy trucks.
  • Always buckle your seatbelts 
  • Never follow too closely or swerve without signaling 
  • Regardless of state rules, stay out of the far-left lane 
  • Compliance with hours of service (HOS) and fatigued driving
  • Establish a rule prohibiting drunk or fatigued driving 
  • Maintain electronic logbooks to prevent infractions brought on by inaccurate or missing driver logs. 
  • Over 30% of all driving infractions discovered during roadside inspections are attributable to this.
  • Keep copies of the Gelds’ operating manuals in a set position within the car.
  • Make sure dispatchers are informed of HOS regulations.
  • Upkeep of Commercial Vehicles.

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Visible vehicle flaws like lights and tyres are the reason for 31% of roadside checks. If you frequently monitor and carry out preventative maintenance and Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports, these kinds of roadside penalties are considerably simpler to avoid (DVIR). Without using paper forms, electronic DVIRs assist drivers with their pre- and post-trip inspections.

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