Who’s the safest driver of them all?
By David Kolman
There have been numerous occasions when I’ve been having coffee with other drivers and the conversation turned to safe driving. Trucker after trucker would try to top one another with their tally of miles or years driven without an incident.
It truly amazes me when I encounter a driver who has a million or more miles or 25 plus years of driving accident-free. These are outstanding accomplishments.
But aside from truckers sharing stories of their safety records — and let’s be honest, truckers have been known to exaggerate- -— how can a driver determine where he stands in comparison to others? Having such information available would help to further increase truck safety.
Here’s why. Professional truckers are a proud lot, and they are also a competitive bunch. How many conversations have you had with another trucker about who achieves the best fuel mileage or who is more proficient at blind-side backing?
I believe that competition brings out the best in us. So I was interested to hear about a way to determine a driver’s risk rating and how it compares to a fleet’s entire driver workforce.
The CEI Group, which works with fleets to reduce vehicle accidents, created My Driver Center as an addition to its DriverCare Risk Manager program.
It works by finding and analyzing key predictors of risk — accident history, traffic camera violations, company-specific safety and fleet policy violations and more — to identify at-risk drivers.
The idea behind My Driver Center is that accident-prevention programs are most effective when drivers are aware of all of the events contained in their driving record and how their record compares to their peers. The program is designed to send an email to the driver and selected fleet managers when their scores go up and push them to a higher risk level.
These notifications also contain assignments for online remedial driver safety lessons and the date by which they must be completed.
Looking back over my many years of trucking, it is clear that advances in technology have helped make truck driving “easier” and safer. But the truck driver at the wheel still has the greatest impact on all factors related to operating trucks and equipment. Anything that helps a professional trucker enhance his performance and improve driving behavior is a very good thing.
So I’m onboard with the philosophy behind the app. When professional drivers have a clear understanding of how their driving and safety record relates to fleet policy and their employability, they tend to pay greater attention to safety.