The Unsafe Driving BASIC is one of seven categories that the FMCSA uses to determine how a motor carrier ranks relative to other carriers in its CSA initiative. As a driver, your performance directly affects your carrier’s CSA ranking.
All roadside inspection violations that pertain to a BASIC are assigned a severity on a scale from 1 to 10 that reflects the violation’s association with crash occurrence and crash consequences.
Methods for Reducing Unsafe Driving in Your Fleet
All safety-based roadside inspections count, not just out-of-service violations. Roadside inspections can occur at any time, so be prepared. Here are some tips to keep those scores as low as possible:
- Always buckle up when driving. A recent FMCSA survey indicated that nearly 80 percent of drivers routinely wear their seat belt, and that number continues to grow. Putting on a seat belt only takes a couple seconds and can save your life. Don’t drive away without putting it on!
- Always follow the speed limit. Speeding tickets are among the most heavily-weighted violations in this BASIC, so obeying the speed limit is vital to keep scores low.
- Pay close attention during driver safety meetings. These meetings are not just a formality—they’re designed to keep you and the other drivers on the road safe.
- Daily inspections should be thorough and cover all the truck’s safety equipment, including seat belts, turn signals, brake system, brake lights, headlights and taillights, etc. It should be of utmost importance to perform routine truck maintenance.
- If you drive all across the country, be aware of local and state driving regulations, as they may differ from location to location. Ignorance is not an acceptable excuse for not knowing the laws. If you’re unsure of a particular location’s driving laws, ask your fleet manager.
- Stay alert! Eat healthy while on the road and avoid medications that cause drowsiness. Be aware that smoking, turning up the radio, and drinking coffee aren’t real cures for fatigue. Driver fitness must be given top priority by transportation professionals.
- Be a defensive driver. This can be easier said than done, especially since the average citizen driver thinks of a CMV as just another vehicle. However, driving defensively can help minimize the negative effects a bad driver has on you and the traffic around you.
- If there is an erroneous violation on your record, appeal it! Make sure you have a good basis for the appeal and there’s a good chance it can be expunged from the record. Use the DataQs system to appeal.
Truck crashes can be life-threateningthreatening because of the sheer size of most larger trucks, making it even more crucial to take the necessary precautionary measures to eliminate unsafe driving practices.
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