Trucking and Fleet SafetyThe Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is in the process of overhauling the long-lambasted Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program. In its stead, FMCSA is aiming to adopt the National Academy of Sciences’ item response theory (ITR). This approach relies on mathematical equations to prove the validity of safety assessments.

Building a Culture of Safety under IRT

Shifting from CSA to IRT doesn’t mean FMCSA is any less committed to improving trucking safety. Trucking companies will still need to focus on the following to cultivate a safe working environment:

  1. Safety will be measured by hard data. One of the biggest complaints about CSA was it was hard to quantify some of the safety measurements. In contrast, the IRT method isn’t an abstract concept. It uses hard numbers to calculate safety.
  2. Change must start at the top. Company leaders can’t hope to reduce risk if they don’t take safety initiatives seriously themselves. Whenever employers hold meetings or get out of the office to interact with employees, they should always espouse a message of safety. Successful safety initiatives also rely on company leadership listening to employee concerns. This requires them to create an environment where employees feel comfortable bringing safety issues to management’s attention.
  3. A consistent approach will yield the best results. Safety initiatives aren’t something company leadership can implement and then leave to flourish. They require constant supervision and fine-tuning to improve. For example, every roadside issue requires proper investigation and measurable action to prevent the problem from happening again. This could take the form of more training, incentives, etc.

The biggest difference between CSA and IRT is the shift from estimating a fleet’s crash risk to scientifically calculating their overall safety. IRT is better equipped to identify areas of weakness because it uses hard data. For example, under CSA, any crash hurt a fleet’s CSA score, which ignored the fact that not every crash is preventable. With IRT, the system can look at every factor that contributed to a roadside incident to develop a more accurate picture of a fleet’s overall safety.

If your fleet is struggling with driver safety issues, DriverCheck can help. Contact us to learn more about how our How’s My Driving? Program can help reduce accidents and mitigate risk for your fleet.