Improving or Maintaining Solid CSA BASIC/SMS Scores

Recently a colleague shared an excellent reminder on how to maintain (or even rehabilitate) SMS/BASIC scores.  It comes from a blog written by Bob Holtzman at Western Truck Insurance.  Here is a LINK to the original article where you’ll find even more helpful suggestions and related articles that should prove interesting.


  • Buckle Up – With long hours on the road it is tempting to leave that seatbelt unbuckled, but this is one easy way to protect yourself. Buckle up as soon as you get into the truck. Make it a habit.
  • Motor Carriers Guide to ImprovingHang Up – Cell phone violations are a big deal. Make a commitment to not use your phone while driving. Instead focus on the road. You can check your text messages and make important phone calls when you come to your next stop.
  • Inspect Yourself – Don’t wait for violations to be discovered at an inspection; inspect yourself. Periodically give yourself a mental inspection and see how you’d do. Are you log books up to date? Is your truck in good repair? Are you speeding? Finding your potential problems before an inspection will give you time to make the needed adjustments and become a safer driver.
  • Check Your Data – When was the last time you used DataQs to check your safety data? Just like you should regularly check your credit score, you should check your Large_Trucks_Cover_Front-300x287safety scores for errors too. If you find any inaccurate information, get it checked and amended. 
  • Educate Yourself – Even the safest drivers can use a little reminder now and then. The FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) has created an online resource that commercial drivers can use toimprove safety practices. Common driving errors are discussed with tips for improvement. Short video clips are available to further teach Another example of a blended scoreand train. This is a great resource for any commercial driver.
  • Make Safety a Priority – Inspections might catch violations, but if you’re doing everything you’re supposed to do these violations will be few and far between. Focus on safety, not on your scores. When you institute safe driving practices the scores will follow. Safety should be your first priority. It’s more important than getting a load to its destination on time or squeezing in a few extra miles in the day.



One thought on “Improving or Maintaining Solid CSA BASIC/SMS Scores

  1. I spent some time as a multi drop delivery driver once. I drove a refrigerated truck for a frozen food delivery company. We had so many drops to do in a day it was hard to keep safety in mind. The pressure was on to get the job done. The fleet was in poor shape too with old vehicles. It’s up to drivers to stand up for themselves and make safety a priority.

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