top of page
  • Writer's pictureFront Range Compliance

What are the CSA BASICs?

CSA stands for Compliance, Safety, Accountability. It is the safety compliance and enforcement program of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) that holds motor carriers and drivers accountable for their role in safety.

CSA affects motor carriers, including owner-operators, by identifying those with safety problems to prioritize them for interventions such as warning letters and investigations. CSA affects drivers because their safety performance and compliance impact their safety records and, while working for a carrier, will impact their carrier’s safety record.

Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs)

The FMCSA uses seven BASICs to determine a motor carrier’s safety performance and compliance relative to other carriers. Five of these BASICs are publicly available online in the Safety Measurement System (SMS). Crash Indicator and Hazardous Materials (HM) Compliance are only available to motor carriers that log into their own safety profile, or for enforcement personnel.

The seven BASICs of safety are:

The BASICs organize data from driver's on road performance. This information is gather from roadside inspections, including both driver and vehicle violations, crash reports from the last two years, and investigation results. Violations found adversely affect your company’s SMS results for two years and may prioritize your company for an FMCSA intervention, ranging from warning letters to onsite audits. Audits can result in Out-of-Service Orders (OOSO) or changes to your company’s safety rating.

Your safety performance and compliance, as a driver, impacts your employer’s safety records, not only your own. With driver consent, motor carriers can use the FMCSA Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP) as a screening tool to see a driver’s five-year crash and three-year inspection history.

Unsafe Driving

The Unsafe Driving BASIC prioritizes interventions for repeated unsafe behaviors, including:

  • Texting

  • Speeding

  • Using a hand-held cell phone

  • Reckless driving

  • Improper lane change

  • Inattention

Which Federal regulations relate to this BASIC?

49 CFR Parts 392 and 397 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs).

Crash Indicator

Understand crash patterns to help identify and address safety problems.

State-reported crashes from the last two years are collected in this BASIC to help identify patterns of high crash involvement and the behavior or set of behaviors that contributed to the crash. All crashes involving commercial motor vehicles, as defined in 49 CFR 390.5, are reportable if they result in a fatality or injury, or require a vehicle to be transported from the crash scene, regardless of the carrier’s or driver’s role in the crash.

The Crash Indicator BASIC is not public. It is only available to a motor carrier that is logged into its own safety profile, or enforcement personnel.

Hours of Service Compliance

Be sure you know the HOS regulations and when it’s time for a break. Don’t drive fatigued.

The HOS regulations make roads safer by requiring rest for all large truck and bus drivers to ensure that they are alert, awake, and able to respond quickly.

Which Federal regulations relate to this BASIC?

49 CFR Parts 392 and 395 of the FMCSRs.

Vehicle Maintenance

Keep your vehicle properly maintained to ensure your safety and the safety of others traveling on the road.

Conduct pre-trip and post-trip inspections, record vehicle defects, and repair them prior to operating the vehicle.

Which Federal regulations relate to this BASIC?

49 CFR Parts 392, 393, and 396 of the FMCSRs.

Controlled Substances/ Alcohol

Don’t misuse drugs or alcohol while driving. It’s dangerous and illegal.

Alcohol, illegal drugs, and over-the-counter and prescription medication misuse impair driving abilities and endanger your safety and the safety of those on the road with you. Having containers of alcoholic beverages in your cab, whether open or not, is a violation.

Which Federal regulations relate to this BASIC?

49 CFR Parts 382 and 392 of the FMCSRs.

Hazardous Materials Compliance

Adhere to the special requirements for transporting HM to help make America’s roads safer for everyone.

The HM Compliance BASIC includes regulations that require special attention, from how to properly package, markings, label, placard, and load HM to understanding regulations for tank specification testing, loading/unloading, attendance, and leakage.

The HM Compliance BASIC is not public. It is only available to a motor carrier that is logged into its own safety profile, or enforcement personnel.

Which Federal regulations relate to this BASIC?

49 CFR Part 397 of the FMCSRs and 49 CFR Parts 171, 172, 173, 177, 178, 179, and 180 of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMRs).

Driver Fitness

Keep your driving records complete and up-to-date to help your company perform well in this BASIC.

Motor carriers are responsible for making sure driver qualification files are complete and current. Required files for each and every driver include valid commercial driver's licenses (CDLs), medical certificates, State driving records, annual reviews of driving records, and employment applications.

Which Federal regulations relate to this BASIC?

49 CFR Parts 383 and 391 of the FMCSRs.

DOT Training/Updates

Make sure to check out our online DOT Training platform, DOT University! We currently are offering Reasonable Suspicion for Supervisors, Cargo Securement, Defensive Driving, and Pre/Post Trip Inspection. In the coming months, we plan on releasing Designated Employer Representative and Appendix A.

Until then, check out our other blogs or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to be the first to know when new classes are made available or for other updates like this! You can also opt-in to our newsletter for exclusive offers, regulation changes, and industry news!

Stay Off The Radar!

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page