Get Ready for Safe Driver Week
Posted September 9, 2016
CVSA’s 2016 Operation Safe Driver Week is from October 16th through the 22nd. While we know that every week should be Safe Driver Week, this is an opportune time to increase awareness of good and bad safety behaviors’ impact on your fleet’s safety performance. Consistent progressive discipline for failing to meet or uphold company safety standards helps communicate the company’s approach to safety management. Train on the deficiencies where possible and quickly assess whether a driver or office associate’s attitude toward unsafe behaviors can be changed.
Appropriate recognition for meeting and exceeding your company’s safety standards is also very important, but the focus of this article is to prompt the examination of negative trends after each safety event and encourage regularly scheduled driver performance reviews.
Do More Than the Minimum
Even if you are experiencing a scarcity of qualified drivers, it is critical to maintain the safety standards of your organization. Driver performance reviews are an excellent tool to review a driver’s productivity, efficiency, and safety performance on a scheduled basis. The annual review of the motor vehicle record (MVR) for citations and accidents, required by 49 CFR Section 391.25, is a minimum required by the FMCSA. Accidents and injuries can be prevented by eliminating unsafe behaviors through consistently monitoring all safety and compliance events, taking corrective action, providing training, including terminating a driver when absolutely necessary. Do not just review what happened last when a safety event occurs, pull together the recent history to detect trends.
Get the Big Picture
Also, no less than annually, review each driver’s entire body of work, including items such as:
- miles per week – high or low miles, 12+ hour breaks may indicate fatigue or other issue
- fuel efficiency
- citations – reckless driving, improper turn, improper lane change, speeding etc.
- log violations
- accidents – type and potential severity, not just cost (cost may be a matter of luck)
- excessive speeding – over the company standard
- hard brake events or time coasting out of gear
- Negative Road Observation (NRO) – motorist complaint
A driver wants to know how he or she is doing and the review provides an objective evaluation. If a safety manager or fleet manager has changed, the process of regularly reviewing the driver’s performance and doing a thorough review at least annually can help avoid missing a trend. The carriers that are most successful at achieving low crash rates, maintain as a core safety management process, the intervening and changing of driver behavior before crashes occur.
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