The trucking industry’s top concern is safety, and so is the US government’s. The CSA (Compliance, Safety, and Accountability) program, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) response to address this issue, went into effect in 2010. The idea was to make America’s roads safer by making it easier to measure which commercial truck drivers—and carriers—practice safe driving.
While the program added no new safety requirements, it created new incentives for businesses to look into smart ways to curb unsafe driving without the CSA having to intervene first. Often, businesses don’t realize that without a solid monitoring system in place, it’s almost impossible to track safety within a fleet, which could increase the risk of scoring high during CSA inspections. That’s why tools like GPS tracking software are a good investment to ensure that safety remains a priority item for these businesses, reducing costly violations and increasing road safety.
Although the CSA helps keep track of safety problems for each driver and employer through a point system (BASICs), these evaluations happen only a few times a year. And no one from the CSA records the specifics of a driver’s safety record.
To keep a low CSA score, fleet managers must proactively ensure that their drivers are as safe as possible—which is, of course, exactly what businesses should do anyway. Cutting corners gets expensive in the long term.
Doing the right thing is even easier than it looks. Some of the most serious infractions that earn points involve exhausted driving. When drivers get inspected, it is usually because they were speeding or driving erratically. GPS fleet tracking provider Teletrac offers safety features and tools to help fleet managers keep tabs on individual drivers and stop poor habits before they snowball into a bigger and expensive problem.
Teletrac’s Hours-of-Service (HOS) solution is one proactive tool that businesses use to maintain a record of all driver hours, ensuring that drivers take the rest breaks they need. Drivers can use electronic driver logs (E-Logs) to enter their work hours and submit right from their in-vehicle driver displays, providing added assurance that drivers are practicing safety.
In addition, Teletrac offers Safety Analytics, which helps businesses receive a safety analysis of their entire fleet, allowing them to take action on the spot. Safety events, such as vehicle speeding, excessive braking, even when a vehicle runs a stop sign, are recorded as they happened in real time. This play-by-play feature lets managers identify the drivers who need extra training. The recordings even work well as coaching tools and provide an opportunity for the driver to explain any extenuating circumstances.
Together, these tools and preventative measures are good for drivers and fleet managers. Fleet managers have an easier time keeping track of the safety records of their drivers, and drivers benefit from better training, more recognition of their skill and good behavior, and, of course, violations decrease and roads are safer.