The self-consistent method, first introduced by Kuramoto, is a powerful tool for the analysis of the steady states of coupled oscillator networks. For second-order oscillator networks complications to the application of the self-consistent method arise because of the bistable behavior due to the co-existence of a stable fixed point and a stable limit cycle, and the resulting complicated boundary between the corresponding basins of attraction. In this paper, we report on a self-consistent analysis of second-order oscillators which is simpler compared to previous approaches while giving more accurate results in the small inertia regime and close to incoherence. We apply the method to analyze the steady states of coupled second-order oscillators and we introduce the concepts of margin region and scaled inertia. The improved accuracy of the self-consistent method close to incoherence leads to an accurate estimate of the critical coupling corresponding to transitions from incoherence.