Announced just last week, changes in scoring rules for the 2010 Comprehensive Safety Analysis (CSA2010) safety screening program are having a “dramatic” impact on individual fleet rankings according to analysis of data from 1,600 fleets and 530,000 drivers by the data-mining software company Vigillo.

Under the old methodology for scoring fleets in seven safety areas known as “BASICS,” 62% of the fleets providing their data to Vigillo for analysis scored above an “intervention threshold” in at least one of the seven. Using the new methodology announced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) on Aug. 6, that number dropped to 52%, according to Drew Anderson, dir. of sales for Vigillo.

See the numbers CSA numbers released by Vigillo

“Without a doubt, adding vehicle miles traveled [to determining scores] for peer-group fleets has had the biggest impact, especially on the unsafe driving and crash indicator BASIC categories,” Anderson said. Previously peer groups were determined solely by the number of power units operated by a fleet. Intervention levels by FMCSA in each BASIC are determined by percentage rankings within a peer group.

The American Trucking Assns. (ATA) and other trucking stakeholders had raised concerns about the power-unit-only method, contending that it put over-the-road (OTR) carriers at a disadvantage compared to local and regional fleets that travel far fewer miles and therefore face far fewer inspections and opportunities to accumulate violations.

Vigillo’s analysis seems to validate that objection. In its initial run through the data, OTR fleets that had gone over the intervention threshold in unsafe driving and crash indicators with the old methodology now fall below that level. A similar result for OTR carriers was seen in a third category – drug/alcohol violations – when the mileage factor was added determining peer-group performance, Anderson reported.

However, not all of the scoring changes have a positive impact on fleet rankings. For example, changes in the severity weighting of violations in the driver fatigue BASIC greatly increased fleet scores under the new rules, Anderson pointed out. “But that should even out in the end since [the thresholds] are ranked by peer groups,” he said.

By BASIC category, the fleet data submitted to Vigillo showed the following shifts under the new scoring rules:

  • Crash interventions – 22% under old rules, 16% under new rules
  • Cargo related interventions – 14% old, 15% new
  • Unsafe driving interventions – 30% old, 15% new
  • Fatigued driver interventions – 15% old, 31% new
  • Driver fitness interventions – 6% old, 9% new
  • Drug/alcohol interventions – 3% old, 0% new
  • Vehicle maintenance interventions – 10% old, 14% new