The Unsafe Driving Violations BASIC

Oct 30, 2022 9:59:46 PM / Written by: Mike Riegel

The Unsafe Driving Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC) is one of seven categories that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) uses to determine how a motor carrier ranks relative to other carriers with a similar number of safety events (i.e., inspections, violations, or crashes). This is used to determine a carrier's CSA score.


What is the Unsafe Driving BASIC?

The Unsafe Driving BASIC is a commonly enforced area of the FMCSA's BASIC categories. These violations are tied to the driver's driving habits and how they operate a CMV.

There are 45 sections in the FMCSA CFR that relate to unsafe driving. These include areas such as Failing to use hazard warning flashers, speeding, texting, all the way up to Reckless driving.

Getting violations in this FMCSA BASIC category can lead to DOT audits and other penalties by the FMCSA.

Use BIT dashcam to coach unsafe drivers


What are the Unsafe Driving groups?

Unsafe driving violations are broken into twelve different groups. These groups help determine the severity of the infraction as it relates to safety. Items such as failing to use hazard warning flashers are less severe while items like reckless driving are the most severe.

Violation Group Severity Weight
Dangerous Driving 5
HM Related 1
Misc Violations 3
Other Driver Violations 1
Phone Call 10
Reckless Driving 10
Seat Belt 7
Speeding 2 4
Speeding 3 7
Speeding 4 10
Speeding Related 5
Texting 10


Top 10 most issued unsafe driving violations

Below are the top 10 most issued unsafe driving violations issued across the country for 2021. This gives some indication into what the DOT finds most important in terms of unsafe driving.


Violation Count
Failure to obey traffic control device, Following too close, Inattentive Driving, Improper lane change, Failure to Maintain Lane, Improper passing, Improper turns, Failure to yield right of way 294,506
Failing to use seat belt while operating a CMV 16,560
Using a hand-held mobile telephone while operating a CMV 5,460
Failing to use hazard warning flashers 932
Operating a property-carrying commercial motor vehicle while all other occupants are not properly restrained. 896
Using or equipping a CMV with radar detector 524
Unauthorized passenger on board CMV 385
Operating a CMV while texting 367
Driving a commercial motor vehicle while Texting 288
State/local laws ordinances regulations 166


If you are ever wrongfully issued a violation keep all of your documentation and fill out a DataQ to have the violation reviewed by the FMCSA

To see the full list of unsafe driving violations that make up the unsafe driving basic you can download here.


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