One of the main goals of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is to ensure driver safety on public roads. With the large number of commercial trucks moving America’s goods on our highways, preventing truck accidents has always been a primary point of concern. That’s why this federal agency invests heavily in distributing information, resources and tools that help everyone in the trucking industry commit to better road safety.
The FMCSA developed their own SMS (Safety Measurement System) to determine the safety history and status of motor carriers. This system analyzes data from a number of different resources, such as crash reports, roadside inspections and other investigations to pinpoint motor carriers that have questionable safety records. You can check your safety and performance data on the FMCSA’s website by typing in your company’s name, U.S. DOT number or MC number.
Since the Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) initiative was rolled out in 2010, motor carriers have been evaluated, using the SMS. To identify safety problems in advance, the measurement system comes up with the motor carrier’s score called the CSA rating. You can check your company’s safety and performance data on the FMCSA’s website by typing in your company’s name, U.S. DOT number or MC number. It will give you insights into how your company is perceived. Are your vehicles and trucks properly maintained? Have any of your drivers been flagged as potential risks? These are the type of questions that you can answer once you know your CSA Score.
What on-road performance is evaluated by the FMCSA?
The FMCSA evaluates seven basic behavior and safety improvement categories:
- Unsafe driving
- Crash indicator
- Hours-of-Service compliance
- Vehicle maintenance
- Controlled substances / alcohol
- Hazardous materials compliance
- Driver fitness
Motor carriers are ranked on these measures and the FMCSA will assign them a percentile from 0 to 100. The higher your percentile, the worse you are performing according to the seven basic behavior analysis and safety improvement categories. Interventions can then be imposed on motor carriers if they have exceptionally high scores and pose a potential threat to other drivers on the road.
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