Do It Yourself (DIY) Hotline Programs

Frequently, companies read about the many success stories of “How’s My Driving?” hotlines and decide to try and run their own hotline.  It’s not an unreasonable argument to make:

  • The company phone number (main switchboard) is probably already stenciled on their vehicles
  • The company already gets the ‘occasional’ call from an upset motorist
  • Taking advantage of the current switchboard staff will save money over paying a third party firm to answer the phone

Unfortunately, the best intentions and the most sincere efforts don’t always translate into results that match those published by fleets using a third-party fleet safety hotline program.

Why?

Your efforts necessarily focus on the administration of the program: dealing with incomplete calls, off-hours voicemails, transcribing reports, getting the report to the right manager for follow up, tracking to confirm that training was provided to the affected driver, filing the completed report to defend against possible “negligent entrustment” claims, etc. 

If you let us handle the administration (what we are efficient at handling since it is our company’s specialty), you can focus all of your energy on training drivers and coaching them to replace bad habits with better ones.  That’s what gets the results you’ve seen and/or heard about!

Here’s a summary of points to consider:

  • Our operators are professionally trained to politely interrogate the caller to confirm details and defuse emotions.  They answer calls 24 hours-a-day, 365 days a year.  Our operators handle calls about safe driving issues only (no other types of calls come into our call center). 
  • Your staff would probably be very happy to give up dealing with irate callers or unfounded calls, and will be able to focus on their regular job duties.
  • We organize all incident reports and records in a sophisticated, but easy to use, database that can provide very detailed management reports to further help you improve safety results.
  • We are an unbiased, neutral party – we don’t have any temptation to “take sides” or “spin” the handling of any report based on who was driving at the time of the incident.
  • We send training materials along with the report to help your manager and driver focus on safety practices, not arguments about pointless details.
  • Since this is the focus of our business (safety and call taking) we’re very efficient and can provide additional insights about driver safety issues (we work with 4,000 other fleets who have the same types of concerns about safe driving as your team)
  • Many insurance providers pay for our program because we’ve demonstrated our results – they don’t pay your expenses to maintain your internal program.
  • All of the published results studies that we’ve seen were based on using a third-party service – NOT an internal program.
  • We automatically include training documents with the individual reports, and again on a monthly basis to help your drivers improve their habits (it moves the report process from arguing about the details to discussing safety issues instead).
  • Many of our loyal clients switched from an internal (DIY) hotline and saw immediate improvement in results (and they still have their number on their trucks, but motorists happily identify our sticker and call us for road observation reports).
  • Our program is less expensive on a per truck basis than a new set of wiper blades – why be pennywise and pound foolish?  The “expense” of our program is offset by the end of the first month in most cases.

http://www.safetyfirst.com/services_hotline.html provides a direct link to our Driver Safety Hotline overview.  An early warning system to help drivers identify and replace bad habits.  The upside is that they could avoid: tickets, fines, collisions, injuries, and worse.

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Is Safety Your Goal When Driving?

Safety on the road is every driver’s responsibility.  Our team is on a mission to do what we can to reduce collisions and minimize the costs of crashes in terms of lives saved and even economic impacts, too.

Last year, 37,261 people died in road crashes.  That’s a lot of funerals and grieving families.  Dying in a motor vehicle is the leading cause of death for Americans who are between the ages of 1 and 34.

We have to do better than this.  Will you help us in your own way?  You can help by simply offering a factual summary of what you see on the roads.  Do it safely, but if you can give us a call, we’ll send training to help that driver examine his or her own attitudes and habits when they drive — most commercial drivers want to be safe, but a reminder of how to be safe makes a difference.  If you don’t call, we won’t know who needs help.

Even though our stickers say “Safety Is My Goal”, it should be every driver’s goal — to be courteous, to help others when they’re struggling or distracted, and to drive smart.

Thank you for doing your part to help save lives, avoid injuries and make the roads a little bit calmer.