The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Identifying High-Risk Drivers and What to Do About Them

Seven diverse fleets share their strategies for identifying high-risk drivers, as well as the training programs and successful corrective methods used to address issues that arise when employing such drivers.

February 2011, by Thi Dao - Also by this author

Fleets have found that re-training high-risk drivers is one effective way to increase fleet safety.

Identifying high-risk drivers and determining and enforcing consequences for unsafe driving constitute a large portion of a fleet's driver safety policy. Employee safety is a main concern, and companies and organizations have worked with their safety and accident services providers to formulate ways to ensure high-risk fleet drivers are trained on proper driving practices.

From using motor vehicle records (MVRs) to determine risk, to point or tier systems to identify when actions should be taken, to training programs and consequences used to address high-risk driving behavior, fleets have found ways to improve driver safety. Fleet and safety professionals discuss the nuances of their respective organization's safety strategies and identify new policies and proven methods that have increased driver safety.

MVRs: An Effective Method to Determine Risk

Pulling a driver's MVR is the most commonly used method to measure driver risk, and organizations can pull MVRs from twice annually to every three years, depending on their needs.

St. Paul, Minn.-based Ecolab, a provider of cleaning, sanitation, food safety, and infection prevention products and services, operates a 7,200-vehicle fleet in the U.S. and has followed a formal driver safety program since 2003. The company runs MVRs twice annually on its fleet drivers. Ecolab policies charge drivers cited for reckless driving, traveling 35 mph over the speed limit, or other similar dangerous actions with "critical events." The company assigns driver points for incidents and calls to a 1-800 line from other motorists commenting on employee driving behavior.

At Mosaic, a non-profit organization that specializes in assisting people with intellectual disabilities, MVRs are run on every new hire and rechecked every one to three years based on the results of the driver's previous MVR, according to Helen Hoffman, director of risk control. The Omaha, Neb.-based organization operates a fleet of approximately 700 vehicles in 14 states.

In addition to MVRs and driver behavior on the job, NuStar Energy L.P. has its drivers "complete a series of profile and defensive driving questions" to complete its risk analysis assessment, according to Krista Davis, fleet and travel coordinator. Headquartered in San Antonio, NuStar Energy owns and operates pipelines, crude oil storage assets, and asphalt refineries. It operates a fleet of 400 vehicles and employs about 650 drivers.

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During her 18-year career with PHH, Patsy Mance worked in a variety of positions at the Hunt Valley, Md., headquarters office until 1974, when she was promoted to account executive and assigned to a field position in New York City.

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