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New research assesses link between CSA and safety

ATRI assessed all five public BASICs, finding a strong safety relationship for the Unsafe Driving, Fatigued Driving and Vehicle Maintenance BASICs.

The Trucker News Services

10/3/2012

ARLINGTON, Va. — A new study shows the connection between CSA scores and crashes is hit and miss.

The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) on Oct. 1 released the report examining the relationship between motor carrier CSA scores and actual crash involvement. 

The research expands upon previous investigations by introducing a sophisticated statistical analysis that provides more accurate and direct results, the research group said.

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ATRI assessed all five public BASICs, finding a strong safety relationship for the Unsafe Driving, Fatigued Driving and Vehicle Maintenance BASICs; partial support for the Controlled Substances and Alcohol BASIC; and no statistical support for the Driver Fitness BASIC. In fact, the data show that, as a carrier's Driver Fitness record improves, that carrier’s crash rate goes up. 

“ATRI’s research identifies a key weakness in FMCSA’s Safety Measurement System,” said Scott Mugno, vice president of safety, FedEx Ground, who testified on behalf of the American Trucking Associations at a Congressional subcommittee on CSA last month. “The conclusions in ATRI’s study support what many motor carriers have found to be true in their operations — namely, that scores in the CSA Driver Fitness BASIC do not bear a statistical correlation to crash risk. However, the industry has always supported CSA where it does reduce crash risk and ATRI’s study validates that there are portions of CSA that are working as intended.”

Recognizing the flaws in current CSA profiles, ATRI has developed an alternative method for communicating fleet safety information to the public in a way that more accurately reflects carrier safety performance.

A copy of this report is available from ATRI at www.atri-online.org. 

ATRI is the trucking industry’s 501(c)(3) not-for-profit research organization.  It is engaged in critical research relating to freight transportation’s essential role in maintaining a safe, secure and efficient transportation system.

The Trucker staff can be reached for comment at editor@thetrucker.com.

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