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Why Does A BASIC Score Matter For Your Trucking Business?

Posted by Jeffrey Forbes on Aug 29, 2019 9:00:00 AM

BASIC Score Matter For Your Trucking Business_

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration uses Compliance Safety and Accountability scores to assess the safety of trucking companies and target the most at-risk companies for additional interventions. CSA scores are composed of seven BASICs (Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category) which attempt to use data available to the FMCSA to pinpoint trucking companies with inadequate safety procedures. While most BASIC information is available to the public, the FMCSA does not make the crash indicator BASIC available to the public. However, the information is available to the trucking company itself and enforcement personnel.


The crash indicator BASIC is meant to analyze the frequency and severity of crashes for a specific trucking company. Companies that seem to be involved in more frequent or more severe accidents than similarly situated peers can be compared. The data for this BASIC comes from state-reported crashes that meet the reportable crash standards. Companies need to be aware that fault plays no part in the calculation of the crash indicator BASIC, only involvement in the crash itself.

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Time And Weight Limits

The formula to calculate the crash indicator measure starts by multiplying the severity of a crash by a time weight. A crash that involves a tow away but no physical injuries receive a severity weight of 1 and crash that involves an injury or fatality receives a severity weight of 2. Crashes in the last six months have a time weight of three, six to twelve months ago have a time weight of two, and more than twelve months ago have a time weight of one. Only crashes from the past twenty-four months are counted. The resulting aggregate of all crashes is then divided by the average number of power units possessed by the motor carrier multiplied by a utilization factor. The utilization factor adjusts for total vehicle miles traveled by the motor carrier.

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Companies Can Keep Track Of Their BASIC Score

Because the Crash Indicator BASIC does not take into account fault, there is a limit to how much companies can do to improve this category. Trucking companies know they should do everything in their power to avoid accidents for which their drivers are at fault, but there is very little a company can do to avoid accidents caused by other people. Companies can keep track of their BASIC score in this category and ensure that all information is as accurate as possible. This relates to the accuracy of crash information of course, but keeping mileage figures and power unit information as up to date and accurate as possible can help mitigate a negative score if a company has increased in size recently.

Why A BASIC Score Matters For Your Business's Bottom Line

While a company's BASIC score is inaccessible to the general public, which is due to the fact that it factors in not-at-fault accidents, it may make it seem less important than other aspects of a CSA score. Best practices should include keeping this indicator low, as this effort may decrease FMCSA interventions and lead to better insurance rates. Do you think that this makes your company's BASIC score worth paying attention to?

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Topics: Trucking & Logistics, For Your Business, Risks In The Trucking Industry