Keeping Your Driver Fitness BASIC Scores Low

Keeping Your Driver Fitness BASIC Scores Low
Keeping Your Driver Fitness BASIC Scores
The Driver Fitness Compliance Behavior Analysis and
Safety Improvement Category (BASIC) is one of seven
categories that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety
Administration (FMCSA) uses to determine how a motor
carrier ranks relative to other carriers in its Compliance,
Safety, Accountability (CSA) initiative.
The Driver Fitness BASIC addresses the requirements
within the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations
(FMCSRs) and refers to the operation of commercial
motor vehicles (CMVs) by drivers who are unfit to
operate a CMV due to a lack of training, experience or
medical qualifications.
The Driver Fitness BASIC Basics
A carrier’s measurement for each BASIC depends on the
The number of adverse safety events (violations
related to that BASIC or crashes)
The severity of violations or crashes
When the adverse safety events occurred (more
recent events are weighted more heavily)
All roadside inspection violations that pertain to a BASIC
are assigned a severity weight that reflects its association
with crash occurrence and crash consequences. The
violation severity weights are assigned on a 1 to 10 scale,
with 1 representing the lowest crash risk and 10
representing the highest crash risk.
Keeping Scores Low
There are major benefits to keeping your Driver Fitness
BASIC scores low. Not only does it help keep your fleet
on the road as much as possible, low scores mean fewer
accidents and safer drivers, as well as lower insurance
costs. Here are some tips to keep those scores as low as
Know when drivers’ qualification documents expire.
There are specific software solutions that will alert
both you and your drivers that document renewal is
Examples of Driver Fitness BASIC
violations and their corresponding
severity weights include operating a
CMV without a CDL license (8), being a
non-English speaking driver (4) and
possessing an expired medical
examiner’s certificate (1).
Ensure all new hires can properly speak and
communicate in English. Their English doesn’t have
to be perfect, but all drivers should be able to
converse, read traffic signs and understand all of
their documentation.
Stress the importance of eating healthy while on the
Provided by Leverity Insurance Group, Inc.
This Risk Insights is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel or an insurance professional for appropriate advice.
© 2013 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.
Keeping Your Driver Fitness BASIC Scores Low
road. Many rest stops now include healthy eating
options, such as fresh fruits, vegetables and
sandwiches. Encourage drivers to drink water or diet
soda instead of sugar-sweetened drinks like regular
soda and energy drinks.
Prepare drivers for passing a physical examination.
Teach them ways to get exercise while on the road,
such as walking a few laps around their rig at a rest
stop, or performing basic exercises in the sleeper.
Keep Red Flag Violations top of mind with drivers.
Create a visor card with the listed violations to
remind them of their importance.
Run periodic motor vehicle record (MVR) searches
on your drivers. It’s probably impractical to run the
reports daily or even weekly, but you can keep closer
tabs on your drivers and avoid potential violations if
done monthly or twice a year.
Offer incentives for clean MVRs. Let drivers know
you appreciate their safety efforts, and they will be
more likely to continue their safe ways.
Do not tolerate drivers who rack up high scores and
refuse to change their ways. The CSA initiative is not
going anywhere—it’s in your best interest to hire
drivers that buy in to the system and practice safety.
If there is an erroneous violation on a driver’s
record, appeal it. If you have a good basis for the
appeal—such as GPS records of the driver’s speed at
the time of a speeding ticket—there is a good
chance it can be expunged from the record. Use the
DataQs system to appeal.
How Do You Measure Up?
FMCSA’s Safety Measurement System (SMS) determines
an overall BASIC status for each motor carrier based
upon roadside inspection results that are reflected as a
percentile rank and/or prior investigation violations. You
and your drivers can check scores by visiting the SMS
website at
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