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FMCSA compliance data identifies truck driver risks

Truckers on the roadways of Georgia are held to standards and regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The program, known as Compliance, Safety, Accountability, or CSA, gathers data from various sources so that the FMCSA can review this and give large truck operators a compliance score based on their safety violations, inspections and crashes.

The information is organized into seven categories that allow compliance officers to identify drivers who present a high risk to others on the road:

  • Failure to comply with hours-of-service regulations
  • Failure to conduct proper vehicle maintenance
  • Unsafe driving behaviors such as distracted driving, driving too fast for conditions and improper lane changes
  • Driver health and fitness to drive
  • Noncompliance with hazardous materials regulations
  • Driver use or possession of alcohol or controlled substances

The seventh category involves reviewing a driver's crash history based on reports over the prior two years. According to Trucking Info, in the past, all crashes on the driver's record affected his or her CSA scores. The FMCSA has made some changes that may work in the drivers' favor, though. 

Under the new program, drivers who have "preventable" crashes on their record can dispute whether there were actions they could have taken to prevent the crash. Only certain crash types qualify for further investigation:

  • When the truck is hit by a driver who is under the influence or driving the wrong way
  • When the crash is caused by an animal in the roadway, or infrastructure issues such as debris, rocks or trees in the roadway
  • When the accident is caused by cargo that falls off another vehicle
  • When a vehicle strikes the truck from behind
  • When a vehicle strikes a legally parked or stopped truck

The FMCSA anticipates that this program will help further identify the truckers who are a true risk to other motorists, while allowing good drivers to improve their record.

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