Trucking comes with its challenges. Large loads and daily driving increase the risk of accidents. Safety measurements regulated by the federal government are put in place to help motor carriers maintain and operate within a set safety value. The program gives each motor carrier a Compliance, Safety, Accountability,  score to determine whether a truck will receive a bypass for pull-in or will undergo an inspection.

The CSA score is a single number derived from a complex grading system. Different grades play a considerable part in the ISS score, and the time lost during inspection means some deliveries might not make it within the scheduled time frame. That is why it’s important to understand your ISS score and how it affects the operators.

What is a Compliance, Safety, Accountability Score?

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) score is a Federal program prioritizing motor carriers organized by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). It is used at pull-in weigh stations and inspections are carried out based upon this safety profile. It primarily uses safety data from the FMCSA’s Compliance Safety and Accountability program, commonly known as CSA. This score is supposed to help roadside commercial vehicle enforcement officers decide as to whether or not a truck should needs inspection. Different grading systems apply to commercial trucking, and the CSA score is an at-a-glance value that makes it easier to determine if the carrier needs examination. It is also a method for state law enforcement agencies to screen incoming trucks to determine if they can bypass or are required to pull-in for inspection.

How Your CSA Score is Determined.

The CSA score calculates a carrier’s safety percentile ranking. The rates of the score are devised from the Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs) percentile values, as recorded in the FMCSA’s CSA Safety Measurement System (SMS).

The FMCSA compiles different ratings from various performance tests; the CSA score is the amalgamation of all these aspects ranging from zero to 100. Ideally, motor carriers want lower scores which indicate better safety compliance.

The CSA process consists of several steps. The first step takes each motor carrier’s safety like roadside inspection violations and crashes and groups them in a Behavioral Analysis, and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICS) then assigned a numerical value based on age and severity. Each category measures performance such as time and crashes then compares them to others aspects such as the number of trucks, annual mileage, or the number of previous inspections.

Trucks with lower scores require fewer pull-in requests than those who maintain a higher average. When trucks comply with safety regulations, they spend less time at pull-ins and more time ensuring they get to their destination on time.

The Difference CSA Basics

The CSA prioritizes motor carrier’s inspection based on BASICS values from the past 24 months. The Federal motor carrier census data to quantify safety performance in the following BASICs:

  • Unsafe Driving – Parts 392 and 397 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations


  • Hours-of-Service (HOS) Compliance (FMCSR Parts 392 and 395)
  • Driver Fitness (FMCSR Parts 383 and 391)
  • Controlled Substances and Alcohol (FMCSR Parts 382 and 392)
  • Vehicle Maintenance (FMCSR Parts 392, 393, and 396)
  • Hazardous Materials (HM) Compliance (FMCSR Part 397 and Hazardous Materials
  • Regulations (HMRs) 171, 172, 173, 177, 178, 179, and, 180)


The FMCSA provides recommendations on whether an officer should occasionally inspect, always inspect, or rarely inspect a vehicle, depending on where the carrier’s CSA score lies in the 0 to 100 range.

The terms for inspection are at the sole discretion of the individual officer who can pull over any vehicle regardless of their score. Additionally, they have the authority to wave through any motor carrier, even if they have a higher than average score. Each state operates with different priorities meaning consistency will vary.

To learn more about the CSA score or to join our team of safe and reliable truck drivers, contact M&W Logistics today.