The two most significant predictors of crash involvement are prior total citation frequency followed by prior crash involvement frequency, according to research from the California Department of Motor Vehicles.
These two pieces of critical information are commonly found in a driver's motor vehicle record. It should come as no surprise then that careful monitoring of MVRs should be a top priority for fleet managers who want to mitigate risk, reduce accidents, and improve overall fleet safety.
Ron Kirsch, an occupational health and safety expert, recommends that fleet managers regularly review MVRs for all drivers. Annual reviews, says Kirsch, are not good enough.
Regular reviews allow fleet managers to stay on top of rapidly changing information, such as citations that have recently been added to an MVR, and to identify earlier any safety issues that need to be addressed.
To maximize fleet safety, Kirsch recommends fleet managers take the following steps concerning MVRs:
Monitor MVRs Monthly
Make a commitment to order MVRs for all drivers on a monthly basis, even if the practice is only required annually.
Maintain an Accurate Driver Roster
Fleet managers need to make sure the information in every MVR is correct. Take the time to validate the basics such as names, date of birth, and driver's license number. However, it's important to also validate whether or not a driver was ever licensed to drive in another state and if so, if that license has been surrendered. Obviously, you'll want to ensure the driver's current license is valid as well as see what certifications or endorsements he or she might have on record.
Look for At-Fault Accidents
These are the obvious accidents caused by reckless driving and DUIs, for example. With monthly MVR reviews you'll be in a position to spot high-risk drivers sooner, and take steps to correct the problem. Reckless drivers are 325% more likely to have an accident than the average driver, notes Kirsch.
Spot Red Flags
Violations like improper lane changes and failure to yield may seem minor, but if an MVR shows it's a consistent problem the driver may be a liability. Drivers with these kinds of violation are 91% to 105% more likely to have an at fault accident, according to the American Transportation Research Institute.