A CSA score is similar to a credit score, except that CSA scores are dependent on the actions an entire organization. While paying bills on time and credit utilization can help improve your credit score, the key element to a strong CSA is a string of smart decisions made over an extended period of time. Improving CSA scores takes better decision making from drivers, coupled with good business practices over time.
The road to CSA improvement starts with a well-planned strategy and an internal review to pinpoint what needs to be improved.
Here’s a few tips:
Review your internal reports
Take some time and conduct a thorough review of incident and safety reports to see what needs to be improved. Are you a Drivewyze customer? If so, you can utilize Drivewyze’s Insights Safety Summary to get an in-depth overview to easily navigate reports. With Insights, you can see exactly where incidents are taking place, common violations, states where most CSA score –impacting violations occurred, among many other pieces of data that can help you identify areas where the fleet needs to improve.
After you look at the data, if you believe your company’s CSA score should be better than what the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has on file, request to review it. If you spot any inaccuracies, and have the proper paperwork to prove changes need to made, you can do so through the DOT DataQ’s process. Mistakes can happen, so at the very least, it’s worth checking every now and then to make sure your CSA score is accurate.
Ensure that your drivers understand the value of a good CSA score
If not, help them understand why a good CSA score is important and how it affects the company’s reputation and ability to get new customers. Establish the idea of ‘when you do better, we all do better.’ High CSA scores, as you know, lead to higher insurance rates. And that may eventually lead to lost business, ultimately affecting drivers.
Establish safety as a core company value
Actions speak louder than words, and simply placing signs and making announcements at company meetings to encourage drivers to be safer on the roads isn’t enough. Creating a driver rewards program, for safe driving practices and no incidents reported, is one way to get drivers on-board with the company’s focus on improving safety scores. It takes active managing to see if drivers are improving, and if they aren’t, other strategies need to be considered.
Understand what law enforcement officers are looking for
Help your drivers understand what law enforcement officers are looking for on the road. What violations are most commonly issued? By scanning the CVSA news section you can get a good idea on what law enforcement officers typically prioritize during annual events, such as road checks. Prior to events, the CVSA typically releases categories they will spend more time inspecting. If you know that information ahead of time, your maintenance staff can perform its own inspections to double check those components are in good working order.
And, if you haven’t already, check out our “Secrets Behind the Weigh Station” eBook. It’s designed to give you some insight on what your drivers can expect when they pull up to a Weigh Station. To go a step further, invite law enforcement officers to attend a safety meeting. There’s no better way to learn the ‘tricks of the trade’ than by having your drivers learn straight from the source what they can do to be safer, and avoid citations on the road.
Improve Driver Training
If you identify specific skills your drivers struggle with, or recurring incidents, it’s worth taking a look at your training practices. Are drivers missing out on information that would be helpful to them? Do you administer on-going driver training or is training not required once they’ve made it through the on-boarding process?
Improving your training practices is a great way to work out the ‘kinks’ that often lead to incidents. And, boosting your training regime doesn’t mean you need to pull drivers in from the road. There are training providers, that offer online driver training. And, if you’ve reviewed incident reports, you should have a good idea on what training courses need to be provided.
Having and maintaining a great CSA score takes work, but it’s well worth the effort. Not only does it make you more attractive to shippers who take that score into consideration, but it helps with insurance rates. And, if you’re a Drivewyze customer, it can help you get more weigh station bypasses — giving your drivers more drive time for faster deliveries.