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FMCSA CSA BASIC Definitions and Data Sources for Carriers


Operational definition

Data sources

Driver Fitness
Parts 383 & 391

Operation of commercial motor vehicles by drivers who are unfit to operate them because they lack training, experience, or medical qualification.

  1. Roadside inspection violations for failure to have a valid commercial driver’s license
  2. Crash reports citing a lack of experience or medical reason as a cause or contributing factor
  3. Compliance review violations for failure to maintain proper driver qualification files or use of unqualified drivers

Unsafe Driving
Parts 392 & 397

Dangerous or careless operation of commercial motor vehicles.

  1. Driver traffic violations and convictions for speeding, reckless driving, improper lane change, inattention, and other unsafe driving behavior

Fatigued Driving
Parts 392 & 395

Driving commercial motor vehicles while fatigued.

  1. Hours-of-service violations
  2. Crash reports with driver fatigue cited as a contributing factor

Controlled Substances/Alcohol
Part 392

Operation of a commercial motor vehicle while impaired by or in possession of alcohol, illegal drugs, or any other substance that renders the driver incapable of safely operating a motor vehicle.

  1. Roadside inspection violations involving controlled substances or alcohol
  2. Crash reports citing driver impairment or intoxication as a cause
  3. Positive controlled substances or alcohol test results on drivers

Crash Indicator

Histories or patterns of high crash involvement, including frequency and severity. Miles carrier logs verses number of accidents

  1. Law enforcement crash reports
  2. Crashes reported by the carrier that are discovered during on-site investigations

Vehicle Maintenance
Parts 393 & 396

Improper Loading/Cargo Securement Parts 392, 393

Failure of commercial motor vehicle due to improper or inadequate maintenance.

Shifting loads spilled or dropped cargo.

  1. Roadside inspection violation for brakes, lights, and other mechanical defects
  2. Crash reports citing a mechanical failure as a contributing factor
  3. Compliance review violations associated with pre-trip inspections, maintenance records, and repair records
  4. Crash reports citing shifting loads or spilled/dropped cargo as a cause or contributing factor

Hazardous Materials (HM) Compliance — (FMCSR Part 397 and Hazardous Materials Regulations Parts 171, 172, 173, 177, 178, 179, and 180)

Unsafe handling of HM on a CMV. Example violations: Release of HM from package, no shipping papers (carrier), and no placards/markings when required.

  1. Roadside inspection violations pertaining to load securement, cargo retention, and hazardous material handling
  2. Crash reports citing shifting loads or spilled/dropped cargo as a cause or contributing factor

Note: Most of the BASICs deal with driver characteristics and behavior. FMCSA will address these driver behaviors by intervening with carriers that use unsafe drivers. FMCSA will also use these same BASICs and underlying data sources to determine the safety fitness of individual drivers.

The safety measurement system will score carriers in each BASIC and make a safety fitness determination to indicate (1) whether a carrier should continue to operate.

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