CSA violations are one of many things that can keep a fleet manager up at night. They range from burdensome all the way to crippling. They could even shut down your operation. The good news is, they’re entirely avoidable. Use this guide and CSA violation list to decrease your risk of accidents and keep your fleet in operation.
CSA stands for Compliance, Safety, and Accountability. It was established by the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) for the purpose of holding fleets accountable for safety and compliance issues.
If you’ve read our blogs before, you know how we feel about compliance. Compliance is not the same thing as safety, and some rules - while well-intentioned - do little to protect people on the road.
That’s not to say the CSA does not have an important role to play in preventing accidents. We need some amount of rules to provide guidance, set standards, and occasionally dole out punishments.
The goal of the CSA is to identify high-risk drivers and motor carriers in order to intervene before a serious accident happens. To achieve this goal, the FMCSA created the Safety Measurement System (SMS).
The SMS uses data from collisions, roadside inspections, and investigations from the last two years. This data is updated monthly and assigned to a carrier’s DOT number.
With that data collected, a motor carrier is given a number ranging from 0 - 100 to rate them on their risk of accidents/violations. The higher the number, the bigger the risk factor is for a carrier. And, the more the FMCSA will prioritize intervention.
A CSA violation means that a driver or a company failed to comply with the rules and regulations set forth by the CSA and the FMCSA.
CSA violations fall under one of several categories, known as CSA BASICS (which stands for Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories). The categories cover things like HOS violations, unsafe behaviors, and driver fitness.
When you violate one of the components of these categories, your score increases. A higher score results in more inspections, higher insurance premiums, and potentially being shut down. Not only that, but a higher score indicates that you’re at risk of causing a serious collision.If you want to learn more about the categories and the specifics of how your score is calculated, check out this article from KeepTruckin.
There are too many potential violations to list in one article. The best place to get this information is directly from the FMCSA.
You can find a list of violations here.
You can also find helpful information about each of the CSA BASICS here.
Not all CSA violations are weighted equally. Some hurt your score more than others.
Violations cost you anywhere from 1 point all the way up to 10. The severity is based on how likely the FMCSA considers a violation will lead to a serious accident.
Here is a list of some of the CSA violations that cost you 10 points on your CSA score:
If you’ve done your homework on the BASICS categories, you’ll notice that most of these fall under the “unsafe driving” category. The FMCSA makes it clear that unsafe driver behaviors are some of the most egregious violations a driver/carrier can have.
If you want to avoid these violations, you must invest in driver safety training. An online defensive driving training program is an easy way to reduce your accidents, injuries, and CSA violations by 20% or more.
The above list includes some of the most serious violations, but they’re not necessarily the most common. The FMCSA has a list of the 80 most common CSA violations. You can access that here.
The list largely includes minor violations such as broken or missing parts, fluid leaks, failure to correct issues from a vehicle inspection, and inoperable windshield wipers.
While these infractions are minor, they can add up and impact your FMCSA score. Not only that, but even small issues can cause a serious accident.
You need to have proper vehicle inspection practices in place in order to catch these issues before they cause you and your drivers problems.
Like we mentioned above, a high CSA score has negative consequences. It can lead to:
Violations are entirely preventable. They are caused by poor operational efficiency, bad compliance tracking strategies, hiring the wrong drivers, and failing to train your drivers on safe driving behaviors.
There are tools you can invest in that will prevent these violations. You’ll have fewer fines, reduced accidents, and stay in business.
Invest in an applicant tracking system to make hiring safe drivers easy.
Look into a compliance tracking system to never have an out-of-compliance driver out on the road.
Implement online training and defensive driving certifications to make sure you have safe drivers behind the wheel.
These strategies will give you a world-class safety training program while keeping you at peak operational efficiency.
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