Driver Monitoring: Risk Management Myths

Are your drivers as competent behind the wheel as you think they are? (Photo: Shutterstock)

Are your drivers as competent behind the wheel as you think they are?
(Photo: Shutterstock)

Buy into these myths, and you may be putting your drivers and your business at risk.

Driver safety is a major concern for organizations today. As a fleet manager, you not only have the responsibility to keep your employees safe while behind the wheel, but you’ve also got a bigger picture to keep in mind – the well-being of your company.

SambaSafety, the cloud-based risk management solutions provider, with clients throughout the U.S. and Canada, recently released a “White Paper,” which portends to debunk three common driver risk management myths.

Here’s a summary of why they believe them to be myths, and a game plan it believes will keep you from falling prey to their destructive powers…

Myth One: “Background checks, public records, and license status checks upon hire give me the information I need about the safety of my drivers.”

While this information is a critical first step to a comprehensive view of a driver’s performance, it can never tell the whole story. Taken carte blanche or interpreted in silos is risky business.

Canadian provinces and U.S. states can only disclose so much information, and they don’t update their databases in real time — there will always be some lag. And when it comes to violations on driver records, the information is not nearly specific enough. You are often in the dark about the nature of the violation, and sometimes drivers can lose their licenses for non-driving factors.

Myth Two: “If I pull Motor Vehicle Records once or twice a year, it’s enough.”

According to SambaSafety, anything less than a monthly review of your drivers’/employees’ driving behaviour creates a blind spot in what you know about your drivers — and when you know it.

Going to your respective provincial ministries for driving records every month is a great expense — in dollars and time. But new technologies enable you to check driver records every month for changes without buying them. If activity is found, only then is a driving record purchased.

Myth Three: “Telematics and GPS data provides all the monitoring information I need.”

While information gleamed from telematics and GPS is invaluable, it’s only part of the whole picture. What about driver performance during non-working hours? Statistics show that the majority of accidents occur between 6 pm and 3 am — when the majority of employees are not working.

Best practices for comprehensive driver monitoring

Information is just the raw material for a driver-monitoring program. You need to connect the dots, monitor over time, and correct and influence behaviour.

With that in mind, here are four key components that SambaSafety notes are key to running a comprehensive driver-monitoring program.

• Establish a baseline with the government-issued three-year driver history. All future monitoring activities will be compared to this baseline.

• Monitor monthly, at least.

• Expand your depth and breath of coverage, by monitoring all employees in all jurisdictions (including those driving personal vehicles while on the job), and by mining multiple data sources. Leverage growing technology in this area.

• Take action. Insight into a driver’s behaviour provides you with the ability to take corrective action, including enrollment into a driver-training program.

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