Frequently Asked Questions
The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are questions and answers about Compliance,
Safety, Accountability (CSA) that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
(FMCSA) compiled to assist the public. As questions come in through the website,
FMCSA adds them to the database along with their answers. If you do not see your
question or topic addressed, please
by submitting a feedback form. We will respond to you directly and consider your
question for inclusion in the FAQs.
The FAQ area has recently been enhanced. Users can now search FAQs by stakeholder
group, topics (displayed on the left side of the page), or by entering a keyword
below. Choosing “Show All” will display the entire collection of FAQs.
When I add up the total of my driver, vehicle, and placardable Hazardous Materials
(HM) vehicle inspections, why don't they equal my total inspection count in the
Safety Measurement System (SMS)?
The SMS categorizes inspections into three types: driver, vehicle, and placardable
HM vehicle inspections. The driver inspection examines driver issues and is associated
with the following Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs):
Unsafe Driving, Hours-of-Service Compliance, Driver Fitness, and Controlled Substances/Alcohol.
The vehicle inspection relates to the following BASIC: Vehicle Maintenance. Placardable
HM vehicle inspections impact the HM Compliance BASIC. During a roadside inspection,
a truck can receive a driver inspection, vehicle inspection, and/or a placardable
HM vehicle inspection. The total inspections will not necessarily equal the total
of vehicle + driver + hazmat inspections. For example, if an inspector does a Level
1 inspection where he examines the vehicle and the driver, it would show up in the
SMS like this:
- Total inspections: 1
- Vehicle inspections: 1
- Driver inspections: 1
- HM inspections: 0
In other words, drivers and motor carriers can have more than one type of inspection
during a single inspection.