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Carrier Safety Score

How To Keep Your Safety Score From Rising

Every carrier has a safety score tied to them, which serves as a metric within the trucking industry to provide insight into a company's safety performance and ability to maintain compliance.

In addition to being a measure of reliability, a carrier’s safety score directly impacts their insurance costs and influences brokers and shippers' decisions on which carriers to work with.

Factors Influencing Safety Scores

A carrier’s safety score is influenced by several factors, including accidents, DOT violations, roadside inspections, internal safety management practices, and more. Additionally, every driver working for your company will also directly impact your overall safety score.

How To Maintain A Healthy Safety Score

A safety score can range from 0 to 100, with 0 indicating the highest level of safety. Every carrier should strive for a low safety score. However, in the event of an accident or a failed roadside inspection, the points accrued from a safety violation will remain on your safety score for 2 years.

While two years may seem like a lengthy period, there are ways for you to improve your score in the meantime:

  1. Regular Vehicle Maintenance & Pre-trip Inspection
    A majority of failed roadside inspections could be prevented by performing pre-trip inspections and routine maintenance. Make sure you are performing a pre-trip inspection before every trip, and every 24 hours on multi-day trips. In addition, you should always proactively perform equipment maintenance and should always stay consistent with routine upkeep.

    For information on how to properly perform a pre-trip inspection, check out our blog – A Carrier's Guide To Properly Conduct A Pre-Trip Inspection.

  2. Driver Training and Compliance
    As mentioned earlier, all drivers operating for your company directly impact your safety score. To prevent multiple and repeat violations from your drivers, prioritize driver compliance and conduct frequent training sessions. These practices significantly reduce the likelihood of accidents and help ensure that all drivers adhere to safe driving practices.

  3. Incentivize Safe Driving Behavior
    Whether you have one driver or several working for your company, fostering a culture of safe driving is crucial. One effective approach is to reward drivers with clean inspections and maintaining a record of zero DOT violations.

  4. Respond to Violations Promptly
    If you or one of your drivers receives a DOT violation, it’s important to address this as quickly as possible, especially if you or your driver is not in the wrong. Taking corrective action promptly will help prevent repeat violations and by completing the DataQ process may remove any points added to your safety score from invalid violations.  

  5. Stay Up To Date on FMSCA Regulations
    Just because you were unaware of new regulations, you are still responsible for your actions. To ensure that you don’t get burned by new regulations, make sure you stay informed. A simple way to do so is to sign up for community newsletter, like ours that you can sign up for HERE - that are designed specifically to keep you informed on any new or changed regulations.

  6. Hire Drivers With Good Records
    One proactive approach to prevent your safety score from rising is to hire drivers with clean records. This automatically decreases the chances of accidents, failed roadside inspections, and other factors that will negatively impact your safety score.

Keeping Your Safety Score From Rising

Safety scores are critical in the trucking industry. By implementing these proactive strategies, trucking companies will be able to maintain a healthy safety score and prevent it from increasing.