Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) scores identify potentially risky driving behaviors with commercial vehicles to keep roads safer for motorists. Last-mile operators with commercial vehicles falling within CSA regulations should take CSA scores seriously, as they could reduce costs, improve driver recruitment, and attract new clients.
In this guide, we’ll discuss:
- What are Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) Scores?
- How CSA Scores are Calculated
- The Benefits of CSA Scores in the Last Mile
- Lowering Intervention Risk
- Hiring and Retaining High-Quality Drivers
- Attracting Clients
- Reducing Insurance Rates
- The Importance of Improving CSA Scores in Last-Mile Delivery
- Frequently Asked Questions
What are Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) Scores?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) established the CSA program in 2010 to improve the overall safety of commercial vehicle fleets and drivers. A CSA score is a numerical measurement of a carrier’s safety or risk.
CSA regulations affect motor carriers that are required to register with FMCSA, such as vehicles transporting hazardous materials requiring placards, or weighing at least 10,001 pounds and traveling through different states.
How CSA Scores are Calculated
CSA scores fall on a scale of 0-100, with the best score being 0. Low scores mean that, according to CSA standards, a motor carrier operates more safely than a carrier with a higher score. CSA uses the following metrics to determine a CSA score:
- Unsafe driving: This part of the score considers driver behavior, like using a phone while driving or speeding.
- Crash indicator: The FMCSA uses crash data from the past two years to determine this part of the score.
- Hours-of-service compliance: Drivers must comply with FMCSA regulations for the number of hours they drive to ensure they remain alert and awake.
- Vehicle maintenance: FMCSA collects vehicle maintenance data to determine whether a vehicle meets the proper maintenance schedule and standards to stay safe on the road.
- Controlled substances/alcohol: Driver data relating to being under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances, or having these substances in a vehicle when driving, will increase a CSA score.
- Hazardous materials compliance: Some vehicles are required to comply with hazardous materials regulations, like package labeling and placard display.
- Driver fitness: The FMCSA considers metrics that influence a driver’s ability to maintain safety on the road, including medical information and having an up-to-date commercial driver’s license.
The CSA program synthesizes the motor vehicle data it gathers for each of these seven points to generate a numerical CSA score.
The Benefits of CSA Scores in the Last Mile
Improving CSA scores has multiple benefits for last-mile carriers.
Lowering Intervention Risk
FMCSA may conduct interventions on carriers with high CSA scores, even if the score is in just one area, like driver fitness or vehicle maintenance. These interventions can be in the form of a warning letter or an investigation, the latter of which can be lengthy and stressful. By having a lower CSA score in each area, last-mile carriers can reduce the number of interventions they face.
Hiring and Retaining High-Quality Drivers
Drivers who prioritize safety likely want to work with carriers that also prioritize safety. CSA performance data is available to the public, so driver candidates can view the information when deciding which companies they’d like to work for.
Potential clients often check CSA data before choosing a carrier to partner with for their future shipments. Better CSA scores will likely attract clients who want to work with safe and reliable last-mile carriers.
Reducing Insurance Rates
When it’s time to compare insurance options, you’ll typically get much better rates with lower CSA scores, as insurance companies use this information to determine your company’s overall risk.
You may need a higher coverage level with a more expensive premium if you have a high CSA score. If your CSA score increases after getting insured, you could also see a premium jump when it’s time to renew.
The Importance of Improving CSA Scores in Last-Mile Delivery
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Starting off with a good CSA score is great, but it’s just as important to maintain that score throughout the life of your company. Staying up-to-date with vehicle maintenance and continuously monitoring driver safety and compliance are critical steps to take.
The Wise Systems delivery automation platform is a complete solution for monitoring driver performance and fleet efficiency, offering detailed analytics and reporting to help last-mile carriers keep tabs on crucial information that influences CSA scores.
Wise Systems’ AI driven Dynamic Optimization Engine (DOE) continuously monitors incoming data for real-time routing decisions and fleet performance improvements. Book your demo today to learn how Wise Systems can help lower your CSA score and boost the efficiency of your last-mile deliveries.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are CSA scores important in last-mile delivery?
Yes, CSA scores are important for last-mile delivery fleets that are subject to FMCSA regulations. CSA scores can help fleets lower insurance rates, attract new clients, and improve the overall quality of their services.
What is a good CSA score?
CSA gives separate scores for each of the seven metrics it considers and an overall performance score. Each metric is ranked differently in terms of severity. For example, a score of 50% might warrant a CSA intervention for unsafe driving, while vehicle maintenance issues may only trigger an intervention once a score reaches 65%.
Still, it’s best to keep scores under 50%, including the overall performance score. Higher scores typically mean there are ongoing safety issues that should be addressed.
How does a CSA score affect a driver?
CSA scores don’t directly impact a driver because drivers themselves don’t get CSA scores. Rather, carriers get scores, which driver actions can influence. Carriers typically monitor driver behaviors affecting their CSA scores and may take action against drivers with risky behaviors that increase the carrier’s score.