Safety From All Sides: Are You Considering More Than One Measure?

If your doctor declared you healthy at your next annual physical after one assessment alone, would you question that result? You should. After all, it’s completely possible to be within appropriate weight guidelines and still have high cholesterol. Or your heart rate could be normal, while white blood cell counts are elevated.

The same is true when considering safety. “A comprehensive evaluation is the only true way to assess potential issues related to individual driver safety,” explains Stephen J. Pherson, National Accounts Manager, “Are you safe? It’s certainly not a single yes/no answer.”

Fortunately, there is a BASIC way to get started – namely the 7 Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs) outlined by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (

In fact, the administration’s Safety Measurement System (SMS), which is an automated tool that quantifies on-road safety measures, uses the BASICs to help identify trucker behavior and monitor safety and compliance. Do you know the BASICs? They are the factors, identified through research, that elevate the risk of violations and crashes:

  1. Unsafe Driving. Are there driver examples of dangerous or careless maneuvering, including speeding, reckless driving, improper lane change or inattention?
  2. Hours-of-Service (HOS) Compliance. Are drivers logging hours while ill, fatigued or outside HOS regulations?
  3. Driver Fitness. Does the commercial motor vehicle (CMV) driver lack adequate training, experience or medical qualifications?
  4. Controlled Substances/Alcohol. Is there any evidence of possession, use or impairment?
  5. Vehicle Maintenance. Has the driver had any violations that show failure to properly maintain the vehicle or prevent shifting of loads?
  6. Hazardous Materials (HM) Compliance. Any violations that reveal unsafe handling of hazardous materials?
  7. Crash Indicator. Is there a history or pattern of crashes? This includes an evaluation of frequency and severity based on state-reported incidents.

The need for safety is simple, but Canal knows the process is anything but. “The BASICs are a great place to start,” says Tim Barrett, Vice President and Chief Claims Officer, “but Canal knows safety is a daily worry. We are here to help and we are ready to share some great strategies. Visit or call your agent today to learn more.”