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  • Writer's pictureCMAC Communications


The three main factors that determine CSA rankings are the number of violations, the severity of violations, and the recency of violations. CSA points are calculated in many ways, including infractions found during roadside DOT inspections, crash reports, and investigation reports. CSA points can only be assigned by people who are trained to give DOT inspections. This includes DOT inspectors and trained law enforcement officers.


Unsafe Driving/Crash Indicator

  • Avoid drivers with a history of speeding (7-10 pts)

  • Eliminate or try to minimize in-cab activities like texting and eating (10pts)

  • 70% of all large trash crashes are due to the driver doing something else while driving

  • Always wear a seatbelt (7 pts)

  • Never tailgate or change lanes without signaling (5 pts)

  • Always avoid far left lane, regardless of state law (3 pts)

Hours of Service (HOS) Compliance and Fatigued Driving

  • Establish policy against driving while sick or fatigued (10 pts)

  • Use electronic logbooks to eliminate violations related to missing or incorrect driver logs (5-7 pts)

  • This accounts for 30% of all driver violations found during roadside inspections

  • Educate everyone, including dispatchers, on HOS rules

Vehicle Maintenance

  • 31% of roadside inspections are triggered by observable vehicle defects such as lights or tires

  • Use Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) with Driver Vehicle Inspection Report software - Electronic DVIRs guide drivers through pre and post trip inspections without paper forms

  • 20% of vehicle violations are related to lights (2-6 pts)

  • 30 of vehicle violations are related to issues with brakes (4 pts)

  • 9% of vehicle violations are related to tire issues, half for tread depth (3-8 pts)

Drivers Should:

  • Understand how to properly inspect their vehicle (2- 4 pts).

  • Be familiar with CSA inspection data.

  • Submit DVIRs before and after every trip (required by FMCSA) to ensure there are no issues with their vehicle.

  • Make it a habit to regularly check lights, flashers, and reflectors.

  • Keep equipment clean to decrease the chances of inspection.

Controlled Substances and Alcohol

  • Never hire drivers without checking their PSP record.

  • Institute a zero-tolerance policy for drugs/alcohol (10 points).

  • Train supervisors to recognize drivers under the influence (10 points).

  • Make sure no one drinks alcohol within 4 hours of being on-duty (5 points).

Hazardous Materials Compliance

  • Ensure that drivers always know how to properly secure their cargo (1-8 points).

  • Don’t shy away from adding more straps or chains – too many is safer than not enough (1-7 points).

  • Never use bungee cords by themselves to secure cargo (1-7 points).

  • Ensure drivers always stop at railroad crossings (5 points).

  • Use edge protectors when hauling cargo with sharp corners.

Driver Fitness

  • Drivers should always carry their commercial license (8 points).

  • 6% of driver violations are due to non-English speaking drivers (4 points).

  • Drivers should always carry their medical certificate and renew their DOT physical early. This issue accounts for 8% of all driver violations (1-2 points).


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