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Who doesn’t love alphabet soup?

Trucking has plenty of it. DOT, ATA, ELD, HOS, FMCSA….you get the idea.

Here’s another one for you: CSA – Compliance, Safety, and Accountability – a program enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

At a Glance

Here’s how it works: CSA uses a “Safety Measurement System” (SMS) to rank carriers on 7 Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs). We’ll focus on three of them:

  • Unsafe Driving – includes violations such as speeding (particularly in a construction zone), following distance, and failure to obey a traffic control device.
  • Hours-of-Service (HOS) Compliance – rules and regulations surrounding how long you can drive between breaks and a driver’s physical condition.
  • Vehicle Maintenance – equipment defects such as flat tires, air leaks, non-functioning lights or signals, and oil leaks.

FMCSA collects data from roadside inspections and crash reports, penalizing carriers for violations. The penalty is points added to the violation’s BASIC category (E.g., texting while operating a commercial motor vehicle adds 10 points to the “Unsafe Driving” category). Your total points in each BASIC category determine your BASIC percentiles. Carriers in higher percentiles are prioritized for “intervention” – i.e., they are more likely to get pulled into a scale house or pulled over for inspection by a DOT officer.

At Your Service

Nussbaum continually ranks well below the “intervention threshold” that CSA uses to prioritize carriers. For example:

Category Intervention Threshold Nussbaum Typically is:
Unsafe Driving 65th percentile 7-12th percentile
HOS Compliance 65th percentile 25– 35th percentile
Maintenance 80th percentile 8-12th percentile

To view Nussbaum’s score history, visit and enter our DOT #71317.

Why does Nussbaum care so much about CSA scores? Because they provide insight into things we really care about.

We want our drivers to be safe, practice safe habits, and get home safely to their families. We want their equipment to function properly and keep them moving. We want our customers to receive loads on time and in good condition. CSA scores help us track progress and identify areas for improvement so we can better serve our drivers, customers, and partners.

Compliant, safe, accountable – at your service!


To learn more about the CSA program, visit