New IRT CSA Methodology

New IRT CSA Methodology

How Safe Are You?

Are you ready for CSA Reform?

CSA is changing, and finally for the better. In 2008, Vigillo was first to run CSA scores on behalf of the industry. Since then, thousands of motor carriers have entrusted Vigillo as the industry experts to bring them powerful insights and valuable data analytics for CSA.

Since the FAST Act of 2015, we have been at the forefront of R&D of the new Item Response Theory (IRT) methodology for CSA.

We are proud to announce that following the roadmap put forth in the July 2017 report, Improving Motor Carrier Safety Measurment, by the National Academies – SambaSafety, powered by Vigillo, is able to provide customers with access to a preview of their new Safety Culture Score.

Almost everything you know about CSA, severity weights, time weights, BASIC Measures and Safety Event Groups are out the window.  SambaSafety, Powered by Vigillo is ready for it.  Make sure you are too.

Preview Scorecards available soon, and early adopter discounts won’t last long.  Give us a shout and we’ll get you set up with visibility into the next generation of CSA.  Act now, its still a two year look-back, so you are already accruing violations that the new system will compute into your new score.

Protect Your Business Now!

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FMCSA submits CSA overhaul plan to Congress

FMCSA submits CSA overhaul plan to Congress

Here we go!!!

As reported this morning by our friends at CCJ: FMCSA submits CSA overhaul plan to Congress…read more.

Almost three years since the FAST Act demanded CSA Reforms, looks like FMCSA is rolling it out.

Major changes pending to CSA methodology; Vigillo, a SambaSafety Company has been working in parallel to ensure we are ready this year to help customers interpret and act on the new scores and move Beyond Compliance with the right combination of data and Wisdom Deployed.

Are you ready for this?

Existing Methodology Example:


New methodology Example:


Top 3 Pro Tips to Manage Your Driver Data


I became fascinated with the power of managing data back in 1980 when I worked for the Wall Street Journal—a publication that was built from its founding to distill complex business information and turn it into actionable intelligence for investors. I became obsessed with the power of data when I started Vigillo in 2007 as a means to help safety departments collect and analyze the oceans of data that are generated from a seemingly infinite number of sources, and translate this knowledge into deploying smarter drivers and safer fleets.

With great knowledge comes great responsibility. However, there is more driver information and data than we could possibly begin to manually distill and make useful. In the face of infinite data, the “duty to act” becomes a daunting, and in many cases, almost insurmountable task. So I start by asking, what are the needed steps to manage and act on the data we collect from so many disparate sources?

I hear about many interesting — and concerted — efforts by motor carriers to develop comprehensive, data-driven Driver Scorecards, so I thought I’d write up a summary of the steps required to reach a successful, and data-driven, outcome on that journey.

Step 1: Identify Relevant Safety Data

Given the oceans of data available, it can be difficult to identify and prioritize the sources of data that are relevant to driver safety. Some sources to consider in the equation:

CSA/MVR/Pre-hire/DQ Files/ELD Mandate/Telematics/In-cab Video/Driver Training/IOT—Active Safety Systems


Step 2: Acquire relevant data from multiple silos 

Now, this can be easier said than done. Of course, data flows off of trucks and into your company reports, but there are other means, like APIs, to acquire the data you need for the full picture. Two skill sets are critical at this step: a safety expert who understands the value of identifying safety indicators, and a skilled IT expert—someone who can navigate the technology of multiple disparate, disconnected platforms from multiple suppliers including the government, and then bring it all together into a meaningful report.



Step 3: Analyze the now combined data to understand the who, what, when, where, why and how of driver behavior and risk.

This final step requires statistical analysis, or what is now popularly called data science. After the data is wrangled, we must then convert it to identify and communicate risky behavior. We make this data meaningful and actionable by pulling together the information that a safety director needs to deploy the resources, training, rewards, or discipline to impact driver behavior and reach the goal of safer fleets and safer roads.

In my travels across the country visiting valued customers and attending industry events, I see and hear a lot about the great work being done by carriers working hard to tackle this 2018 challenge—the data-driven Driver Scorecard. Here at Vigillo we have spent the better part of ten years tackling the challenges of the data deluge and turning it into actionable intelligence.

If you want to learn more about how we have mastered these steps in designing a data-driven Driver Scorecard that automatically pulls all of your disparate driver data together and makes it intelligent and actionable, I invite you to personally get in touch. I would love to hear about your data challenges and share with you what we have learned.

Happy Anniversary FMCSA – Meet The Parents

Happy February everybody, and Happy Anniversary!

Its been exactly 6 months (August 1 – Feb 1) since FMCSA launched their 24 month Crash Preventability Demonstration Program to see what impact it would have if FMCSA reviewed DOT Record-able crashes and made Preventable/Non-Preventable determinations for purposes of CSA crash scores. So happy 6-month (26 week) anniversary!

According to findings a 6-month relationship is important because this is when three key relationship milestones take place:

  • Revealing of one’s imperfections (24 weeks)
  • First argument (23 weeks)
  • Parental introductions take place (24 weeks)

So I ran some numbers FMCSA, its time to meet Momma.

Imperfection #1 – Permitted time period out of sync with CSA Scores

Lets start at the highest level.  Motor Carrier (CSMS) CSA scoring is based on the most immediate past 2 years of data including crashes.  In the two years prior to January 1, 2018, FMCSA recorded 307,732 crashes.  (MCMIS as of December snapshot).

All Crashes – Two Years

But FMCSA only allows crashes after June 1, 2017 to be submitted for reviews under its new program that started August 1, 2017.  So less than 25% of CSA crashes can be submitted at this time, it will only catch up with the 2 year CSA window, as the Demonstration Program comes to a close at the end of 24 months.

Crashes Qualifying for Review – 76,122 (24.7% of all Crashes)

Crash Locations – States (Oh look, Texas wins again!)

So as we sit here at the 6-month milestone, we can only judge the preventability project on the 1,149 submitted crashes out of 76,122 crashes that could possibly be submitted under the limitations put in place for this program, or 24.7% of all possible crashes. I never understood the reasoning behind limiting crash submissions to those since June, when FMCSA uses crashes back two years for scoring purposes. Seems fair to align those dates, but hey, we were early in the relationship and we didn’t want to have that first argument.

Imperfection #2 –  Transparency could be better

On August 1, as soon as the Demonstration Program launched, Vigillo started capturing all crashes submitted through DataQ’s.  FMCSA publishes the outcomes of crash reviews publicly, but cycles them through every 30 days, removing the previous month from public view.  There is no running total, so we created one.  We set up a daily capture and can now report that 1,149 crashes have been submitted for review by 588 different motor carriers since August 1.  That’s just 1.5% of the possible 76,122 that have been recorded in that same time period. This is starting to look an awful lot like the DataQ’s system we already dated and broke up with.  Lets get some reporting in there team, this is a demonstration program, lets see the results without having to do backflips. Motor Carriers, lets get busy, submit those crashes.

Imperfection #3 – Only certain predetermined categories can be submitted

FMCSA predetermined that only crashes in the following categories can be submitted for review:

  • When the commercial motor vehicle (CMV) was struck by a motorist driving under the influence (or related offense)
  • When the CMV was struck by a motorist driving the wrong direction
  • When the CMV was struck in the rear
  • When the CMV was struck while it was legally stopped or parked, including when the vehicle is unattended
  • When the CMV struck an individual committing, or attempting to commit, suicide by stepping or driving in front of the CMV
  • When the CMV sustained disabling damage after striking an animal in the roadway
  • When the crash was the result of an infrastructure failure, or falling trees, rocks, or debris
  • When the CMV was struck by cargo or equipment from another vehicle

And this is the breakdown now 6 months into the Program:

Actual Submissions by Crash category – 1,149 submitted

Actual Review Outcomes by Crash category – 596 Non-Preventable (52%)

Our first argument – Many clearly Non-Preventable Crashes are not being reviewed.

So to recap, Crashes going back two years should be permitted for submission, we need better and more transparent reporting from FMCSA, and with the huge investment in technology, including camera’s, there should not be predetermined categories of acceptable crashes.  It is impossible for anyone outside FMCSA to know how many crashes are being submitted and rejected out of hand because they are not in one of the pre-determined categories, and even less knowable, how many carriers don’t even try.

The link below is from a motor carrier who will remain anonymous, and it shows a crash that is clearly not preventable by the driver or motor carrier.  But it is a side collision, and FMCSA has predetermined that no side collision can be reviewed.  It is a Demonstration Program, lets demonstrate what is possible today with technology and video.  Until you do, I’m not sure how I feel about continuing our relationship, or having you meet my parents.