Why Are My Safety Scores Increasing?

Have you ever wondered why your safety scores went up when you didn’t get any violations for that month?  If so, here is a brief explanation that could explain why.

Safety Percentiles Vs Safety Measures

The FMCSA has multiple safety methods that calculate how safe your trucking company is being on the road. The two main methods are Safety Measures and Percentiles. Safety Measures Scores are calculated on an individual basis, based on the past 24 months’ violations for your company. Your Safety Percentile Scores compare you to similar carriers within your Safety Event Group, based on your Safety Measure Score. The lower your Safety Measure Score the better chance your Safety Percentile Score will decrease.

For example, if your Unsafe Driving Percentile Score is 64%,  then 36% of similar carriers within your Safety Event Group will have a HIGHER Unsafe Driving MEASURE Score. In addition, this would mean that 64% of similar carriers have a LOWER/ BETTER Unsafe Driving MEASURE Score.

The more current inspections you have with no violations the lower your Measure Score will be. Not having inspections regularly will only hurt your Measure Score. The only BASIC where this differs is Unsafe Driving. Removing power units or driving significantly fewer miles will increase your Measure Score even with no recent inspections.

Safety Event Groups

Trucking companies get placed into a “Safety Event Group” based on how many inspections with violations their company receives. According to the FMCSA, these groups allow the Safety Measurement System (SMS) to account for differences in the motor carrier population and ensure similar carriers are held to the same standards. Many companies that vary in size, can be put into the same group. This influences the scores of all companies within that group. Your Safety Percentiles are not just based on your company’s violations, they are based on all the companies in your Safety Event Group.

Each BASIC has its own set of guidelines on how to measure a company and which Safety Event Group a company gets placed.

Two main reasons your Percentiles could increase:

1 Your company may not have received any inspections with violations for this month, but another company within your group received multiple clean inspections throughout the month. This will cause your company’s Percentile Scores to rise, for it shows that companies within your group are improving while you made no progress.

2 If companies within your group have violations “trend” off and you do not, your percentiles may increase. “Trending” off refers to the fact that after a certain amount of time the impact value of a violation decreases. Points decrease after 6 months, 12 months, and are removed after 2 years. Once again, when a company (or more than one) displays an improvement while your safety is stagnant, your Percentile Scores could increase.

Which Safety Event Group Am I In?

To find out which Safety Event Group you are included in, simply visit the FMCSA website at https://csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/ and scroll down to the Check Motor Carrier Safety and Performance Data section. Enter your company US DOT# or MC# in the search bar.

CSA Score Check

After you click SEARCH choose any BASIC to view. On the left-hand side, you will find your Safety Event Group.

In summary, you are not being scored based on just your efforts, you are being scored based on every company in that Safety Event Group.

**NOTE: There are different Safety Event Groups for straight trucks.

If you would like a more in-depth discussion or review of your scores, please contact CDL360 at 888-224-2019 and set up a free consultation.


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