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The FMCSA organizes company SMS data into seven Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs).

The seven (BASIC’s) are listed below, click below to interact with each term.

1. 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

2. Crash Indicator

State-reported crashes from the last two years are collected in this BASIC to help identify patterns of high crash involvement and the behaviors or set of behaviors that contributed to the crash. 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 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 to enforcement personnel.

3. Hours-of-Service Compliance

This BASIC addresses requirements for all large truck and bus drivers to ensure that they are alert, awake, and able to respond quickly.

4. Vehicle Maintenance

This BASIC considers proper vehicle maintenance to help ensure safety on the road, including pre- and post-trip inspections, vehicle defects, and repairs.

5. Controlled Substance / Alcohol

This BASIC addresses misuse of alcohol, illegal drugs, and over-the-counter and prescription medications that impair driving abilities and endanger everyone’s safety on the road. Having containers of alcoholic beverages in CMV cabs, whether open or not, is a violation.

6 Hazardous Materials Compliance

This BASIC includes regulations that require special attention, from how to properly package, mark, 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 to enforcement personnel.

7. Driver Fitness

This BASIC addresses driving records. Motor carriers are responsible for ensuring driver qualification files are complete and current. Required files for each and every driver include commercial drivers’ licenses (CDLs), medical certificates, State driving records, annual reviews of driving records, and employment applications.

BASIC Scores

BASIC scores are used to group carriers based on the number of safety events they incur (e.g., crashes, inspections, or violations). Carriers are then ranked amongst other carriers and assigned a percentile from 0 to 100 (the higher the percentile, the worse the performance) to prioritize them for interventions.


Carriers that maintain bad score will find it harder to book loads with some freight brokers, will typically have a harder time finding insurance coverage. It is standard for companies with bad scores to see large increases in insurance premiums.

Click here to go to the FMCSA website to learn more.