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Do you know your BASIC?

Trip Sheet Central

The Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program of the FMCSA was designed to weed out as many as 5 percent, or 150,000, of the country's 3 million or so long-haul truck drivers they believe are involved in a disproportionately high number of truck accidents and fatalities.

CSA uses a complex scoring system to rate the nearly 700,000 DOT-registered interstate trucking companies on seven "Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories", known as "BASICs."

The seven (7) BASIC categories are

  1. Unsafe Driving - Operation of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) by drivers in a dangerous or careless manner. Example violations: Speeding, reckless driving, improper lane change, and inattention. (FMCSR Parts 392 and 397)
  2. Fatigued Driving (Hours-of-Service) - Operation of CMVs by drivers who are ill, fatigued, or in non-compliance with the Hours-of-Service (HOS) regulations. This BASIC includes violations of regulations pertaining to logbooks as they relate to HOS requirements and the management of CMV driver fatigue. Example violations: Exceeding HOS, maintaining an incomplete or inaccurate logbook, and operating a CMV while ill or fatigued. (FMCSR Parts 392 and 395)
  3. Driver Fitness - Operation of CMVs by drivers who are unfit to operate a CMV due to lack of training, experience, or medical qualifications. Example violations: Failure to have a valid and appropriate commercial driver's license (CDL) and being medically unqualified to operate a CMV. (FMCSR Parts 383 and 391)
  4. Controlled Substances/Alcohol - Operation of CMVs by drivers who are impaired due to alcohol, illegal drugs, and misuse of prescription or over-the-counter medications. Example violations: Use or possession of controlled substances/alcohol. (FMCSR Parts 382 and 392)
  5. Vehicle Maintenance - Failure to properly maintain a CMV. Example violations: Brakes, lights, and other mechanical defects, and failure to make required repairs. (FMCSR Parts 393 and 396)
  6. Cargo-Related - Failure to properly prevent shifting loads, spilled or dropped cargo, overloading, and unsafe handling of hazardous materials on a CMV. Example violations: Improper load securement, cargo retention, and hazardous material handling. (FMCSR Parts 392, 393, 397 and HM Violations)
  7. Crash Indicator - Histories or patterns of high crash involvement, including frequency and severity. It is based on information from State-reported crashes.

A carrier's measurement for each BASIC depends on the following:

  1. The number of adverse safety events (violations related to that BASIC or crashes)
  2. The severity of violations or crashes
  3. Date when the adverse safety events occurred (more recent events are weighted more heavily)

Carriers are scored in each category. The worse the carrier's performance -the higher the score. Warning letters are sent to fleets with scores above 65 (60 for HazMat carriers).