The Driver Risk Evaluation Process
February 26, 2015
Author: Jason Konzen, Account Administrator
A reoccurring theme we hear from our motor carrier clients is there is a severe driver shortage and in some cases this is leading fleet owners to consider driver applicants with less desirable safety records than they customarily would. Furthermore, numerous studies point to this driver shortage only getting worse in a time of tight qualified driver availability, much more government scrutiny, increased trucking litigation, high insurance costs, and a continued tight economy. That is why it is extremely important for motor carriers to implement and utilize an effective driver risk evaluation process that does a better job of hiring, retaining, and molding current drivers to be the drivers who will pose an acceptable risk.
Our Safety Consultants in Safety Management Services Company have identified effective use of the following focal points when creating a quality driver risk evaluation process – driver application, motor vehicle reports (MVRs), Pre-employment Screening Program (PSP), DAC (Hire Right) driver history reports, and previous employer checks. Then within these categories motor carriers need to consider the driver applicant’s age, driving experience, accident record, traffic convictions, license suspensions, number of jobs, and reasons for leaving.
In April 2011, the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) released a report titled Predicting Truck Crash Involvement: a 2011 Update. Based upon surveys and in-depth interviews ATRI conducted with safety directors, it became clear that safety-oriented trucking companies had several common attributes including:
- clear, documented, and well distributed policies and strategies relating to specific driver behavior and events;
- accessible and engaged safety directors and managers;
- a willingness to test and/or use different training tools and onboard safety systems; and
- direct involvement in the development or customization of company safety programs and policies.
Furthermore, according to ATRI’s report motor carriers with an effective driver risk evaluation process implemented proactive safety measures and strategies in the following areas – hiring practices (during both initial hiring & the new driver orientation/training), sustainment training, and remedial training & approaches.
There is obviously a lot of information that must be considered when creating an effective driver risk evaluation process and motor carriers that do this will have the greatest opportunity to recruit & hire the most qualified drivers in what is a tight market for such drivers. Safety Management Services Company will be hosting a webinar in March that goes into more detail on this topic and we would strongly suggest you participate in this. CLICK HERE for more information on the webinar.
- ATRI’s Predicting Truck Crash Involvement: A 2011 Update
- Webinar from April 2012 on Developing an Effective Driver Risk Evaluation Process