CSA Scorecard FAQs

Please see below for answers to common questions about CSA Scorecards. 

Sections:


Why are there duplicate drivers in my scorecard?

Why are there duplicate drivers?

In a nutshell, drivers are duplicated because the same driver has different driver license numbers in the FMCSA databases. We download all safety data from the FMCSA databases to create your scorecards. The FMCSA data contains many typos, blanks, inaccuracies, etc. There is apparently little validation or data integrity checks for the people who enter the data into the system and therefore there are many mistakes. Vigillo does an enormous amount of sophisticated "data scrubbing" to eliminate many data issues, but many remain.

In the Vigillo scorecards, we match drivers based on drivers having the exact same driver license number. If the driver license number is even slightly different (for example due to a typo), this is considered to be a different driver. This is what is causing the duplicates you have found. We are very curious to see how the FMCSA will be addressing this data problem as they move closer to providing individual driver scorecards – as this problem will exist for the FMCSA as well.

What Vigillo has done: 

To improve the driver match, we had previously done driver match based on driver name and also on driver license and driver license state. We found that by changing to driver license alone, we reduced duplicates significantly without introducing significant additional bad data. The problem would be if two different drivers in the same fleet had the same driver license number but had licenses from different states – a situation we have found to be extremely unlikely.

Tools to correct the data—Vigillo Q's: 

Vigillo has a service called VigilloQs that allow customers to match driver data to master driver lists, correct driver data, merge duplicates, get automated driver match suggestions, and submit and manage DataQs challenges - all with the ease-of-use for which Vigillo is known. This application is available to all Vigillo customers through the Driver Data Manager.  To enable this feature, please contact Vigillo Sales Team at info@vigillo.com or (503) 688-5100 x103.

Customers may also use the FMCSA's DataQs system directly to challenge incorrect data, such as incorrect driver licenses, here.

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What time weights are used for violations and inspections in the CSA scorecards?

For CSA Scorecards, Vigillo uses the time weightings as described in the FMCSA's CSA published methodology: 

Carrier Time Weight under Carrier Safety Measurement System (CSMS) Methodology: 

  • 0 - 6 months = 3X 
  • 7 - 12 months = 2X 
  • 13 - 24 months = 1X 

Driver Time Weight under Driver Safety Measurement System (DSMS) Methodology: 

  • 0 - 12 months = 3X 
  • 13 - 24 months = 2X 
  • 25 - 36 months = 1X 

All carrier level information is computed using the Carrier (CSMS) time weights. If you are viewing information for a specific driver, then you are seeing the Driver (DSMS) time weighting.

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How does the violation history of a driver impact carrier CSA scores?

Carriers are only evaluated on inspections and crashes associated with their own DOT number, so only violations that a driver receives while working for a carrier apply to that carrier’s Safety Management System (SMS) evaluation. Therefore, the driver’s violation history before the driver is hired and after the driver’s employment is terminated will not impact a carrier’s SMS results. However, even if a carrier terminates a driver, all of the driver’s crashes and inspection results that s/he received while operating for that carrier still apply to the carrier’s SMS evaluation for 24 months from the date of occurrence. Because the data is time-weighted, the effect of those occurrences on the carrier’s score will diminish over the course of the 24 months. 

Source: FMCSA CSA 2010 Website

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Why are Power Units used rather than Vehicle Miles Traveled in some BASICs?

I thought the FMCSA would be including Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) for the Unsafe Driving and Crash Basics. Why are they still using Average Power Units (APU)?

The FMCSA is using BOTH Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) and Average Power Units (APU) when generating the BASIC Measure. When calculating the BASIC Measure they use APU and the Utilization Factor. The Utilization Factor is a multiplier that adjusts the APU values based on the utilization in terms of VMT per APU where VMT data in the past 24 months are available. The Utilization Factor takes into account the Carrier Segment and VMT per APU.

Several options were considered for use as denominators for the BASIC measures in SMS. The options included PUs, VMT, and number of drivers. Pros and cons for each option were carefully considered. Ultimately, PUs was chosen as the denominator for: Unsafe Driving, and Crash Indicator since the data quality for PUs was found to be much higher than for VMT. Specifically, VMT Census information in FMCSA’s Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS), from which SMS draws its data, is often missing or obsolete. 

While FMCSA is not opposed to using mileage data rather than PU data, the current status of the mileage data makes it difficult to consider VMT as a viable option for normalization in the SMS at this time. 

Source: FMCSA CSA Website 

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Do tickets or warnings from driving personal vehicle impact CSA scores?

Do tickets or warnings that drivers receive while operating their personal vehicles impact the new Safety Measurement System (SMS)? 

No. Tickets or warnings that drivers receive while operating their personal vehicles are State citations and do not count in the new measurement system. The CSA Safety Management System (SMS) only uses violations of FMCSA’s regulations and those regulations only apply to people driving commercial motor vehicles. In measuring on-road safety performance, SMS uses all safety-based violations documented at roadside inspections, as well as State-reported crashes. 

Source: FMCSA CSA Website

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What to do if a driver gets an unwarranted speeding warning?

Since warnings for speeding count in the Safety Measurement System (SMS), what can a carrier or driver do if they feel like they received an unwarranted speeding warning ticket? 

Speeding violations documented on a roadside inspection report are used in the SMS. If a carrier or driver receives a warning for speeding documented on a roadside inspection that they feel is not warranted, they should use the FMCSA DataQs process to challenge the data. It is important to understand that the State might give the driver a separate State violation, which can be appealed through the State court system. Since the roadside inspection data and the State violation data are separate, one would have to appeal each independently to have them both removed from one’s record. 

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What is a DOT Recordable Crash?

According to the FMCSA: 

  • DOT Recordable Crashes 
  • Not Recordable - No fatality, injury, or towaway

A crash is reported to FMCSA if it involves: 

  • Any truck having a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 10,000 pounds or a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) over 10,000 pounds used on public highways, or 
  • Any motor vehicle designed to transport more than eight people, including the driver or 
  • Any vehicle displaying a hazardous materials placard regardless of weight. 

NOTE: This criterion assumes that an officer at a crash site may not be familiar with the Federal Hazardous Materials Regulations (Specifically, 49 CFR Part 172). If an officer or associate is knowledgeable in those, any vehicle discovered to be transporting hazardous materials without a required placard should also be included.

AND 

That vehicle is involved in a crash while operating on a roadway customarily open to the public, which results in: 

  • A fatality: any person(s) killed in or outside of any vehicle (truck, bus, car, etc.) involved in the crash or who dies within 30 days of the crash as a result of an injury sustained in the crash; or 
  • An injury: any person(s) injured as a result of the crash who immediately receives medical treatment away from the crash scene; or 
  • A towaway: any motor vehicle (truck, bus, car, etc.) disabled as a result of the crash and transported away from the scene by a tow truck or other vehicle. 

Except crashes that involve: 

  • A personally-owned truck or passenger vehicle meant for personal use only as the sole vehicle meeting the criteria above, or 
  • A driver with a disease condition (stroke, heart attack, diabetic coma or epileptic seizure) and no other injury or damage occurs, or 
  • Deliberate intent (suicide, self-inflicted injury, homicide, etc.), with no unintentional injury or damage.

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Does an incorrect license number affect our CSA scores?

An incorrect driver license number will not affect your CSA scores at the carrier level. 

At the driver level, an incorrect driver license number will affect a specific driver's scores on a Vigillo scorecard. This is because all activities associated with a specific driver license number roll up to the same driver. If a driver has one inspection and violation listed under one driver license number and a different inspection and violation listed under another driver license number, your Vigillo scorecard will show these as two separate drivers. 

If you believe information provided by the FMCSA is incorrect, you can challenge using the FMCSA's DataQs system. More information is available here.

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How do we change the number shown for drivers or power units?

Vigillo uses the data provided from the FMCSA databases for number of drivers, current number of power units and average power units. This information is provided to the FMCSA when a carrier fills out and submits an MCS-150 form, which is required to be updated at least every 2 years. 

To update your MCS-150, you can go to the FMCSA's online registration page here

Your updated information will show in your Vigillo scorecards on the next monthly update after the FMCSA processes your MCS-150 form.

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Does Vigillo cap inspections at 30 severity points per BASIC as CSA requires?

Vigillo scorecards cap inspections at 30 severity points per BASIC, as required by the CSA Methodology.

Here is a more detailed explanation of how this works: 

CSA requires that there is a cap of 30 SEVERITY points per BASIC per inspection. Severity points are them multiplied by the appropriate TIME WEIGHT to calculate the TOTAL CSA POINTS. 

Here is an example of the 30 severity point maximum per BASIC per inspection of the worst possible inspection: 

If we eliminate Crash Indicator (because there are no inspections or violations in this BASIC - only crashes), this leaves six BASICs for a worst case scenario of 6 BASICs X 30 severity points each = 180 total severity points 

Time weights are then applied to the severity weights: 

For Carriers under the Carrier Safety Management System (CSMS) portion of CSA, the time weight applied depends on the age of the inspection: 

  • 0 - 6 months = 3X 
  • 7 - 12 months = 2X 
  • 13 - 24 months = 1X 

For Drivers, under the Driver Safety Management System (DSMS) portion of CSA, the time weight applied depends on the age of the inspection: 

  • 0 - 12 months = 3X 
  • 13 - 24 months = 2X 
  • 25 - 36 months = 1X 

So a recent inspection (one with a time weight of 3X) would be: 

  • 180 severity points (30-point cap X 6 BASICs) 
    - - multiplied by - - 
  • 3X (time weight for very recent inspections) 
    - - equals - -
  • The total possible points for one inspection under CSA is 540. 

Vigillo provides multi-level inspection reports that show you important information at three levels of calculation per inspection: 

  1. Inspection Level: This includes information about the whole inspection, including date, time, state, Report #, time weight, total points. 
  2. BASIC Level: Which BASICs occurred in the inspection, total severity points, time weight, and total CSA points. These numbers are computed using the full CSA methodology, including the elimination of duplicate violations and the 30-severity points per BASIC per inspection rules. 
  3. Violation Level: Every CSA violation that occurred during the inspection (even if duplicate or above the 30-point cap) is shown so that customers can see the complete inspection violation information.

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A driver that never worked for us shows up in our scorecard.

Vigillo uses FCMSA databases as the source for all driver, inspection, and violation data. Drivers appear in your Vigillo scorecard if the FMCSA data reports that a driver previously or currently worked for the carrier AND had an inspection or a DOT-reportable crash in the last 36 months that was attributed to that carrier.

  • Inspections, violations, and crashes that occurred in the last 24 months affect carrier-level CSA scores.
  • Inspections, violations, and crashes that occurred in the last 36 months affect that specific driver's CSA scores.

If you believe information provided by the FMCSA is incorrect, you can challenge using the FMCSA's DataQs system. More information is available here.

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Why does a terminated driver show up on our scorecard?

Drivers appear in your Vigillo scorecard if they previously or currently worked for a carrier AND had an inspection or a DOT-reportable crash in the last 36 months that was attributed to that carrier. 

NOTE: Even if a driver is listed as having "Insufficient Data" across all seven BASICs, this does not mean there was no activity. A driver will show "insufficient data" for a BASIC if they have had less than 3 inspections or no crashes. In short, if a driver is listed on your scorecard, there was activity in the last 36 months. Click on the driver's name to drill-down to the individual driver's scorecard to see all activity from the past 36 months. 

Inspections, violations, and crashes that occurred in the last 24 months affect your carrier-level CSA scores. 

Inspections, violations, and crashes that occurred in the last 36 months affect that specific driver's CSA scores. 

If you believe information provided by the FMCSA is incorrect, you can challenge using the FMCSA's DataQs system. More information is available at FMCSA DataQs Site.  

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How do I challenge incorrect data in my scorecard? (DataQs)

The DataQs program allows carriers and drivers to challenge information that resides in FMCSA databases. This information includes Federal and State-reported data such as crash and inspection reports, compliance review and/or intervention results, and enforcement actions. 

A carrier, driver, or other stakeholder can register for DataQs via the FMCSA Portal or through the DataQs system directly. Data challenges require simple forms to be filled in with information from the relevant report, such as the report number, date and time of event, state, and an explanation for why the data should be changed. Documentation to support the challenge may also be submitted to the system. All information is routed to the organization responsible for the data. Electronic correspondence is used to communicate with the challenger when additional information is needed. DataQs is open to the public and the website provides an online help function to walk users through the process. 

If your DataQ challenge is approved please let us know so that we can update your FMCSA data.

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If a driver's violation is thrown out in court, how can it be removed from my CSA record?

When a data challenge is requested through the DataQs system and the request is granted, the organization makes the appropriate changes to the data. The record will be updated in the CSA 2010 Safety Management System (SMS) during the next monthly run of the measurement system. However, users may only use the DataQs system to challenge data used by FMCSA. Challenges to data that are adjudicated in the State court systems do not automatically result in a change to FMCSA-released data. A carrier or driver must file a challenge in the DataQs system in order to have a violation removed from the record.

Source: FMCSA CSA Website

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