CSA Improvement Series: Unsafe Driving BASIC

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Unsafe driving is one of the most well-known problems in the trucking industry. The FMCSA Unsafe Driving BASIC deals with 49 CFR Parts 392 and 397. The regulations outlined in each part have a significant impact on your CSA scores, and high scores due to repeated violations can be expensive.

In fact, noncompliance with safe driving practices costs carriers millions of dollars in fines every year. There are also lost hours-of-service due to driver suspensions, lost clients due to delays, and increased insurance rates due to the violations.


What is the Unsafe Driving BASIC?

The Unsafe Driving BASIC is one of seven areas that the FMCSA look at and rank carriers in terms of Compliance, Safety and Accountability (CSA). This BASIC deals with unsafe driving violations such as:

  • Speeding
  • Reckless and/or distracted driving
  • Improper lane changes and following too close
  • Hand-held cell phone usage and texting
  • No seatbelt


While this is not an extensive list, these are some of the most common violations under the Unsafe Driving BASIC. Roadside inspection results and investigation data are compiled and organized on a monthly basis to determine your safety rating. Unsafe Driving is one of the BASICs that is publicly available online. So, having a good score here is especially important to protect your company image.


Be proactive about Unsafe Driving BASIC training

This BASIC outlines several violations that seem obvious. Drivers do not always remain diligent about these simple requirements, however. This is where effective training becomes helpful.

Training drivers about regulations is not enough on its own. In-house coaching and enforcement goes a long way in preventing fines, suspensions and increased CSA scores. If you notice a driver with consistent unsafe driving habits, address it before it turns into a violation.

ELDs can be a great tool for proactive monitoring of driver behavior and identifying patterns that could lead to violations. In fact, this type of technology is a great way to track driver progress and offer incentives for consistent safe driving records. Reports like the EROAD Driver Leaderboard rank drivers based on harsh braking, speeding, and sharp acceleration. Sharing this information with drivers can help with coaching and friendly competition.

For a complete look at keeping your Unsafe Driving Basic in check, watch the first of three videos in our CSA Improvement Webinar Series.


EROAD can help answer more specific questions about the Unsafe Driving BASIC, FMCSA regulations and CFR Parts 392 and 397. Please keep checking our blog and resource library to keep your CSA Scores low and your fleet safe!