Why You Should Keep a Clean Driving Record

The PSP Scores Employers Want from Job Candidates

Do you know what the PSP is? If not, you may want to learn, because it can directly affect whether trucking companies will want to hire you.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has instituted the Pre-Employment Screening Program for all truck drivers going forward. The PSP offers employers a snapshot of your driving record to make a hiring determination.

The PSP assigns points to safety violations a driver has made during his time as a driver. Speeding tickets, reckless driving convictions, or inspection failures will “ding” a driver, adding points to his PSP. On the other hand, good inspection results and a safe driving record will cancel out those points.

The PSP contains a driver’s crash data from the past 5 years, and roadside inspection data from the past 3 years. New snapshots are uploaded approximately once a month, meaning you have the opportunity to have a continuous stream of new data.

While the notion of weeding out the bad drivers and rewarding the good ones seems to be a natural fit for the trucking industry, it can be a negative for drivers who have had bad luck. Companies may fear hiring a driver with a high PSP score to not be worth the risk of hiring, meaning that if you have had a string of bad luck you may find yourself having difficulty finding a job.

Meanwhile, the program seems to be a success early on. The FMCSA reports that companies using PSP to screen their new hires have seen crash rates drop 8 percent, and driver out-of-service rates dipping by 17 percent on average.

New drivers especially will want to take note of their PSP score, particularly before they decide to change jobs. An accident or two, or a bad inspection or two, could derail your plans for advancement. Be sure you are especially diligent about your pre-trip inspection reports, and that you do your absolute best to avoid accidents.

If you want to know more about the PSP and how it can affect your ability to get a job in the trucking industry, visit the FMCSA’s PSP website at this link.