Survey: Drivers concerned about CSA

| August 11, 2011

New survey data indicate drivers understand several critical aspects of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Compliance Safety Accountability program, but significant misperceptions still exist.

For example, 77 percent incorrectly believed companies inherit past violations from new hires, the American Transportation Research Institute noted. FMCSA materials say “only violations that a driver receives while working for a motor carrier apply to that carrier’s SMS evaluation.”

Nearly two-thirds of drivers were somewhat or extremely concerned they will lose their jobs as a result of CSA.

ATRI surveyed 204 company drivers and owner-operators at a trucking show in March. Additionally, a large motor carrier volunteered 4,351 of its company drivers to complete only the survey’s knowledge section.

Researchers noted drivers’ knowledge of CSA reflects rumor-based false beliefs, despite FMCSA attempts to educate drivers. These misperceptions will likely decrease as the program matures, they wrote.

Forty-one percent reported not receiving CSA training or education from their company, and 36 percent reported their employer had provided one learning session. The remainder, nearly 23 percent, received multiple sessions from their employer.

Still, the analysts stated “the truck driver community has relatively strong comprehension of several critical aspects of CSA.”

An FMCSA spokesman says that some findings are encouraging, including that most respondents understood some critical CSA aspects. The agency plans to continue its CSA educational efforts.

Also, FMCSA notes, more than 95 percent of respondents understood all violations count toward assessing driver and carrier safety. Nearly 83 percent were aware carriers cannot remove safety violations from their record by firing a driver.

To obtain a copy of the ATRI CSA Driver Survey Report, go to www.atri-online.org.

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