Channel 19

Todd Dills

Redux: Have you seen your ‘CSA scorecard’?

| November 15, 2012

It’s been a long time since I asked that question. Last time around, in the very early days of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability program, the answer was little more than a _____. In the post linked above, I wrote about a then-new service from the Vigillo company that gave drivers access to that company’s tabulations of their CSA “scores,” using published methodology for FMCSA’s Driver Safety Measurement System and providing numerical rankings in the BASICs (Behavioral Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories) with a look and feel similar to what the agency does for carriers publicly today.

Officially, CSA rankings for drivers continue to be an internal tool at FMCSA, not for public view. But Vigillo has more than 2,000 carrier customers involved in its system, representing, says the company’s Steven Bryan, “just under a million drivers” all told, well up from the 600,000 or so in the system two years ago.

Marketing to drivers directly with the Roadside Resume, as it calls the service (any driver in the system can see their numbers for free), Vigillo has in turn banked on more carriers willingly sharing inspection/crash data with the company in order to make its entire system more robust in the comparisons it makes. Given it doesn’t have access to the entire universe of drivers out there — only to those hauling under lease to or employed by its customer carriers — the ranking numbers aren’t exactly reflective of what FMCSA has in its internal system.

All of this has put Vigillo under the requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which mandates a complaint resolution procedure for inaccurate information, more than what most third-party CSA tabulators provide — many only to defer to FMCSA’s DataQs process, one fraught with difficulties. As the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association’s recent suit and my prior reporting makes clear, those difficulties have been particularly notable for drivers and owner-operators attempting to navigate the system themselves.

Vigillo in December will update the Roadside Resume with its new Daylight Driver Index number, which purports to provide a single number (0-100, where lower is better) that claims to show each driver’s safety performance on an absolute continuum. I’ve thought of it as a kind of “Safety Fitness Determination” — which FMCSA hasn’t even instituted as yet for carriers — for a driver. Bryan, however, sees it somewhat differently. “If a driver has an 80, this is not an indicator of a poor or unsafe driver,” he says. “We’re saying that if FMCSA comes in for an intervention, they’re going to focus on that driver.” He likens the DDI to the Inspection Selection System number every carrier gets that helps officers at roadside as well as bypass systems prioritize certain carriers to get pulled into the scale, into the holding pen for inspection or bypassed.

“The huge majority of drivers score high” in the DDI, says Bryan, illustrated by the table above. Only 15 percent or fewer “have any significant issues at all — with scores above 65. Out of the entire million in our system, the average is about 36″ — a good number, he adds.

In any case, my questions for you today: If you’re leased or a  company driver and have seen tabulated versions of your CSA rankings in the BASICs, how did you get to them — your carrier may have shared them, or perhaps you’ve accessed your record in the Roadside Resume or through another third party?

Also, have any of you been able to use the rankings to benefit?

Since the entire CSA enterprise began, many carriers have been working with their current drivers sharing CSA “scores” in hopes of engaging them in the process of carrier ranking improvement. The examples of Missouri-based Prime Inc. and Minnesota-based Transport America come to mind, both of which I’ve reported on in past.

It’s no accident that Vigillo called the Roadside Resume product what they did. “We get several hundred drivers a day logging in there and looking at their scores,” Bryan says. “They’re in there everyday at the level of 200 to 400 a day. Everybody’s gotten well attuned to the fact that the data’s updated once a month — we send out email blasts every month to carrier and Roadside subscribers. We see a pretty good spike every month when the update happens.”

Are you benefiting from seeing your rankings with prospective lessors or employers? Have you had problems? Tell me in the comments or by direct email: tdills [at] randallreilly.com.

  • MUSTANG

    Well Todd another good subject, and NO I haven’t looked at or inquired about my CSA score. Whats more I don’t give a rats ass what it is, the way they score you is bogus and there is no due process as there is with the rest of the driving public. We had a driver that had a suicidal teenager cross the median, hit our driver, kill himself and our driver was charged CSA points for something he could not prevent and then given additional points because his truck had to be towed and could not pass inspection. The points system CSA has is bullshit and if I can’t drive because of it then I’ll do the same as if I can’t pass a physical I’ll find another line of work. Until then I’ll do my job to the best of my ability and the only score I care about is MLB or NFL scores

  • http://www.facebook.com/channel19todd Todd Dills

    I hear you, Mustang. You’ve got your own carrier rankings (if you’d had enough inspections in the past two year) now that you’ve got your own authority. May be doubtful, though. You can look it up via http://ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/sms/ — just enter your DOT number at right. If you go through and register to get a PIN number you can get more detail on the categories hidden from public view, too. Info on that here: http://www.overdriveonline.com/csa-and-safety-scores/?pg=5 under “Independents…” Give me a buzz if you get in there and actually see numbers. . .

  • http://www.facebook.com/don.lanier1 Don Lanier

    i JUST SAW MY SCORE AND WONDERED HOW THEY COME TO THIS RANKING, MINE WAS A 33, AND i WONDERED IF THATS GOOD, BUT WHY A 33 AND NOT LOWER SINCE iVE HAD NO INCIDENTS, ACCIDENT, CLAIMS, SCALE ISSUES ANYTHING THAT WOULD CAUSE ME TO SCORE ANYTHING…??? iM CURIOUS…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1269137418 Mike Jones

    Behavior analysis scores??? how hilarious….for a trucker?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1269137418 Mike Jones

    Right On! CSA is such a retarded Scheme….hilarious.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1269137418 Mike Jones

    because it is a Rip Off and YOU are either a COP or a CRIMINAL in the eyes of Cop Agencies……they get a fat Government Salary and YOU are a Nobody..thats what it is all about…33 or 103….

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1269137418 Mike Jones

    It is not about a Free Enterprize system..it is a Prison System…YOU are just a Number to the Guards…being assigned More numbers based on your BEHAVIOR….alot like nazi germany…the cops just laugh at the worker/slaves……they are PAID quite well to MONITOR the Prisoner/slaves.

  • 2wildT

    Score supplied every 8 months during safety training at company. 0 points, 7 zero defect road side inspections in last 3 years. Haven’t been turned down by any company I’ve called asking questions. Of course 1.5 million safe driving miles gets their attention also