The DataQ System presents fleet owners the opportunity to combat CSA violations and increased insurance costs by removing incorrect violations and certain crashes.
The Compliance Safety Accountability (CSA) system, now 10 years old, has not performed well, and the FMCSA is gearing up to overhaul the system. The CSA system was designed to decrease crashes involving heavy trucks and buses, but crashes increased by 10.2 percent between 2012 and 2017. While not officially announced, a new Item Response Theory (IRT) model will replace the existing one in September 2019. However, the underlying violations that drive CSA scores are not expected to change dramatically.
Despite the ineffectiveness of the CSA system in preventing crashes, insurance companies are increasingly relying on a trucking company’s CSA scores to develop pricing and make underwriting decisions. Many insurers will not offer a quote if your company has two or more CSA scores above the threshold, and your premium can increase dramatically if you have scores in alert status. Furthermore, some insurance companies still use the Crash Basic score, despite the inaccuracy of many reported crashes (i.e., not-at-fault, deer strikes involving a tow, etal). For smaller fleets, a couple of bad violations can lead to tens of thousands of dollars in additional insurance premium.
So how to you combat false violations and non-preventable crashes? Become an expert with the DataQ system and fight to keep your scores lower! Below are steps you can take to combat incorrect violations or non-preventable crashes.
- Review your CSA scores regularly—at least once a month. Click HERE to access the FMCSA portal and login to access your scores.
- Learn how to file a DataQ. This Top 10 Frequently Asked Questions is a good place to start.
- If you feel a violation was incorrect, study the specific regulation (i.e., specific section number) before starting the DataQ process. You can look up violations by section number HERE.
- Document, document, document! Provide maintenance, ELD, legal, or other documentation to state your case. Without supporting documentation, your DataQ will not be successful.
- If a driver fights a moving violation in court and wins, submit the court documents with your DataQ. The points may be reduced significantly or eliminated.
- For non-preventable crashes that show up (such as a deer strike requiring a tow), be sure to submit a DataQ to get this removed from your record. Underwriters DO review all crashes.
With a hardening trucking insurance market, it’s important to use all tools at your disposal to keep costs in check. As always, the trucking insurance professionals at The Daniel & Henry Company are here to help you understand what measures you can take to reduce risk and insurance costs. Please call us today at 1-877-406-5915 or email us at RuebsamJ@danielandhenry.com