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ATRI Debunks CSA Crash Risk

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On October 1, The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) released a study regarding the correlation of motor carrier Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) scores and crash predictability. This research extends upon previously collected data by using in depth statistical analysis to provide more accurate and directly correlated results. The verdict is in… CSA scores do not accurately predict a carrier’s crash risk.

ATRI Report

According to the October 2nd article in the Commercial Carrier Journal entitled ATRI report: CSA scoring measures ineffective, “[The] ATRI analyzed the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Safety Measurement System and crash data from a sample of 471,306 motor carriers with evidence of recent activity in the past 24 months, focusing on the five BASICs available to the general public. ATRI said the research expanded upon previous investigations by introducing a sophisticated statistical analysis that provides more accurate and direct results, According to ATRI, the research finds a strong safety basis for the Unsafe Driving, Fatigued Driving and Vehicle Maintenance BASICs; partial support for the Controlled Substances and Alcohol BASIC; and no support for the Driver Fitness BASIC.”

ATRI’s statistical analysis denounces CSA’s Driver Fitness BASIC scoring models ability to predict crash risk but supports other aspects and the value of the program. According to the ATRI’s press release on October 1, announcing the results of the data analysis, “[The] ATRI proposed an alternative method for communicating fleet safety information to the public in a way that more accurately reflects carrier safety performance.”  View about blog from ATRI regarding this topic.

ATA Calls for CSA Changes

The American Trucking Association (ATA) has called for changes to the CSA scoring models and data dissemination to better able to achieve its commendable goals. According to the ATA, a continued flaw in the system is the lack of crash accountability or the designation of fault in reported wrecks, especially those with fatalities. Apex Capital shares the ATA’s concerns and has been a proponent of change to the program.

With questions regarding the reliability and integrity of the oftentimes lacking data, the CSA is being called back to the drawing board. Current models and perceptions of the accuracy and usefulness of the scores are damaging to truck drivers and they companies they work for as well as the brokers and shippers who are being held vicariously responsible for the actions of the carrier they hire to haul their load. Based on limited, faulty and sometimes a lack of information, more than just a truck driver’s employability is at jeopardy.

Thanks to the ATRI’s research there is data to support the necessity of change to the current FMCSA system in order to develop an accurate and reliable program while upholding the intent and responsibility of the FMCSA.