CSA stands for Compliance, Safety, and Accountability in the trucking industry. Trucks and trucking companies are held to high safety standards and must do their best to operate safely as they share the road with other motorists.
This program can help firms in this industry strengthen their safety record and avoid dangerous situations that could cause harm to others. Our truck accident lawyers can use a driver’s CSA violations as proof of negligence in an accident case.
The CSA Program, Explained
Compliance, Safety, and Accountability is a program devised by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This is the regulator responsible for keeping tabs on trucking companies. CSA is a critical part of this government agency’s efforts to keep roads safe for everyone.
CSA holds motor carriers and truck drivers responsible for maintaining safety on the roads. When there is a suspected safety problem, FMCSA is allowed to investigate and issue warnings. This agency can also take this data and compile it in its online SMS, or Safety Measurement System.
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The Trucking Industry Safety Measurement System
The Safety Measurement System does pretty much what you would expect it to based on the name. It strives to “measure” how safely a given company has operated its trucks. The SMS is updated once per month and uses all types of data to determine if a company needs intervention. FMCSA considers:
- The number of safety violations a company has committed
- The severity of crashes and safety violations
- The number of “critical” violations found during inspections
- How many large vehicles a carrier operates
- How many miles a carrier’s vehicles tend to travel
- When safety violations occur, with recent events being more important to a carrier’s score
This data can help the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration determine how safely a trucking company is operating.
Compliance, Safety, and Accountability BASICs
The FMCSA takes all of the violations into account and further organizes its data into seven subgroups, also known as Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories, or BASICs. These categories include:
- Hours of service compliance: Any evidence that the drivers for a trucking company are not following rules concerning how long they drive and how they keep a logbook could lead to an investigation.
- Vehicle maintenance: Issues with brakes and lights can be violations, as could any other type of mechanical problem.
- Controlled substances: A driver who is using or found in possession of controlled substances, like alcohol and drugs, can be found in violation of FMCSA regulations.
- Unsafe driving: Evidence that a trucking company’s drivers speed, drive recklessly, or do not use seat belts can result in an investigation against a firm.
- Crash indicator: Any info about crashes and their severity is an important addition to the SMS.
- Hazardous materials compliance: A trucking company that transports hazardous materials is subject to tight regulations. Flouting rules and creating unsafe situations can result in a violation on the company’s record.
- Driver fitness: A driver’s failure to meet the criteria to be behind the wheel of the truck is a violation, whether that ineligibility is due to health issues or the lack of a valid license.
The more violations a trucking company has in any of these categories, the more likely they are to be investigated.
How Trucking Companies Can Use CSA
Trucking companies are encouraged to take full advantage of the Compliance, Safety, and Accountability program and all of the data that it compiles. These firms can go online to check out their own record at any time. They can also take advantage of Pre-Employment Screening programs when they hire more drivers.
The data from the SMS can help these companies operate as safely as possible. A carrier that ignores these resources could end up harming other motorists who share the road with their large and heavy vehicles.
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The Importance of Truck Safety
All of us have to think about safety and the other motorists on the road with us, but drivers of large vehicles like trucks have to be especially cautious. According to data from the FMCSA, trucks can weigh 20 to 30 times what a passenger vehicle weighs. Their large size can contribute to deadlier crashes with more serious injuries and fatalities.
Because of this, trucking companies and drivers need to be held to a high standard. Those that cause accidents due to their neglect of the safety of other motorists should be held accountable.
What To Do if You Have Been Injured in a Trucking Accident
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in an accident with a truck, you could have legal options. Contact Isaacs & Isaacs Personal Injury Lawyers and obtain your free consultation today.
If an irresponsible carrier or driver caused you harm, we are ready to help you hold them accountable. We can discuss today with you how a driver or company’s failure to uphold CSA in the trucking industry could be negligent.