CSA stands for compliance, safety, and accountability. It’s a program put in place by the government to ensure fleets are participating in safe practices. Your score determines whether or not you’ll get a visit from the DOT.
Therefore, to avoid that you need to maintain a low CSA score. Having a low score can minimize your insurance rates and attract desirable business opportunities and drivers.
Although drivers and fleet managers often try to avoid violations that could negatively affect their scores, small issues can sometimes fall through the cracks. Fortunately, there are ways to improve your CSA score. Let’s begin.
Ways to Improve Your CSA Score
Keep Track of Your Drivers’ Medical Cards
Around 13% of violations are the result of an expired or not up-to-date medical card. Therefore, there are two main violations to look out for: driving while being physically unqualified and driving without a valid medical certificate.
If you’re physically ill and operating a truck you’re putting yourself and others in a dangerous situation. Therefore, if a trucker is caught driving while sick, that can be a 10 point penalty.
On the other hand, not having a valid medical card can cost you 1 to 2 points.
To avoid issues like these, fleet managers need to keep track of their drivers’ medical cards. They should be updated and monitored regularly to avoid any violations.
Check Your Breaks
Break Safety Week can hurt a lot of fleet’s CSA scores since break safety is often overlooked during pre-trip inspections.
We understand that making adjustments to your brakes can be difficult and tedious, but it needs to be done regularly. To make sure your drivers are taking care of this, provide them with a pre-trip inspection checklist and stress to them the importance of safety.
After some time, gather feedback from your drivers regarding the difficulty of each task. Specifically, ask them about their experience when it comes to checking their brakes. If they’re having difficulty completing this task then provide them with the resources they need to make the process easier.
Break violations are the most common and can result in a 4 point penalty.
Perform Pre-Trip Inspections
Of course the brakes aren’t the only part of a truck that you should pay close attention to during your pre-trip inspection. Experts suggest paying close attention to the headlights/taillights and tires.
Broken lights count for 28% of violations in the US and result in a 6 point penalty. Therefore, it’s especially important to check your lights and replace them when necessary.
Lastly, if your tires are in poor condition it can cost you a whopping 8 points. To avoid this violation you should regularly inspect your tires for any debris or extensive wear and tear.
Lastly, another ways to improve your CSA score is by challenging the violations your fleet receives. You’ll have two years after the citation was given to dispute it.
If a violation is dropped then it’ll be removed from your pre-enrollment screening report and CSA score. You can also get them to lessen the severity of the infraction which means less points added to your CSA score.
The Bottom Line
Improving your CSA score can be very advantageous in the long run, which makes reducing it so important. Remember, you can challenge violations, perform pre-trip inspections, and keep track of your drivers’ medical cards to lower your score.