Based on industry estimates there are several million commercial vehicles (ranging in size/type from SUVs/Vans and Pickups thru tri-axle dumps and tractor trailers) using some sort of “how’s my driving” placard system.
Some of these are internally developed and executed hotlines — where the observer is actually calling the fleet operation directly.
However, most of these hotlines are through a third-party specialist organization that handles all of the administration of:
- Processing calls on a 24/7/365 basis (instead of dealing with voice mail during “off hours”)
- Dispatching reports on a timely basis to the correct location supervisor so that he/she can coach the driver promptly
- Delivering professional driver training materials to help in the coaching process — to focus on a safety “conversation” instead of a disciplinary or fault finding “confrontation”
- Providing training to supervisors on “how to coach” productively (the goal is to influence drivers to look at their own behaviors and want to be safer tomorrow, not “prove” someone did something wrong)
- Supporting a “close the loop” process — to track the status of each and every report
- Providing simple, but valuable management reporting proactively BY EMAIL
- Providing supplemental driver training modules for the benefit of ALL your drivers (keep them all safety minded).
Did You Know?
- Eighty percent of all drivers NEVER get a complaint call report during their career?
- Further, of the twenty percent who do get reports — half get ONLY one and NEVER get another.
- However, the final group of drivers get call after call after call.
- Typically these multiple reports focus on common themes — tailgating, following too closely, space management issues, speeding, aggressive driving, etc.
- Often, the issues raised in the call reports mirror the past violations on the MVR of the affected driver.
- Sometimes, the call reports actually forecast an imminent collision — in other words, ignore the report and waiting will result in either a violation or preventable crash.
Aren’t these just crank calls? Motorists with an ax to grind?
- Our clients investigate each report — even if it’s on a “star” driver or an unusual situation. They find that only one or two reports out of every hundred are unable to be validated or were not helpful to their own investigation and coaching process.
- If the reports were from crank callers, the callers would be picking trucks randomly out of the crowd. The call statistics don’t show a random distribution of calls. We see 80% of the drivers NEVER get a call, 10% get one (and never another) and 10% get multiples. So if it’s all made up, why do some drivers get almost all of the reports?
- Interestingly, the drivers who get multiple call reports have the same sticker as all their peers.
- Their sticker isn’t larger or bright neon green or offering to pay a bounty for anyone who calls — so why do they get more reports than their peers?
- Behavior, habits, risk taking, complacency…..call it what you may, but this represents a chance to HELP this driver avoid any future tickets, fines, or crashes.
- All it takes is a management team willing to have a conversation, sit him/her down for some training, and keep an eye on them in case the training was ignored.
Isn’t this “old fashioned” and being replaced by Hi-Tech?
- Just because something’s been proven effective and has been around for thirty years doesn’t mean it stops working.
- Pizza has been on menus for much longer, but it’s still popular.
- Baseball and Football have been around much longer and they’re still popular — why would something become ineffective just because it’s been around?
- It is true that there are hi-tech toys and gizmos out there to monitor drivers.
- They focus on location, idle time, on/off route, raw speed, harsh braking, harsh cornering, aggressive swerving, and harsh acceleration.
- These systems can never detect running a red light, speeding through a school zone when children are present, passing a stopped school bus, discourtesy to other drivers, littering, speeding based on “at the moment” conditions of weather, traffic, etc. (and more).
- They’re good at what they offer and may provide a fleet with great data; however, separating the mountains of “background noise” data from the “urgently actionable” issues requires a full time analyst who is not provided with the system.
- We already incorporate telematics alerts into our coaching system. One client recognized a 600% reduction in speeding behaviors by linking the two systems! (Click HERE)
- These systems are roughly 100 times more expensive than “how’s my driving?”
Capturing Near Miss Data
People who call in a report about risk taking behavior typically do so because they were frightened or angered by what they saw. Think about your own experience on the highways — you’ve seen risky behavior, but what would motivate you to actually place a call report (hands free!)? Something that was “almost” a crash, but was, instead, a “near-miss”.
Rarely do we receive calls about trivial situations — typical calls deal with high speed merges, tailgating, weaving in traffic, and other situations that could lead to crashes featuring bodily injuries (not just physical damage).
Because our system self-selects the most egregious behaviors for reports, the number of reports is quite low — only two or three reports per month (per 100 vehicles). However, the importance of each report is very high. This is the opposite of telematics systems that produce mountains of paperwork and you’ve got to locate the needle in the haystack.
Here’s another way to look at this approach:
Closing the Loop
Our clients have an aggregate close out rate of 80% — that means almost every report is investigated to the point that a definitive management action has been instituted.
Further, several studies have conclusively shown that this coaching process (without video training or online training) has been the key to unlocking significant crash reduction results (10–30% fewer crashes than without the hotline program in place.)
So, now that we’ve been producing brief (5-7 minute) reminder videos for our online Learning Management System (LMS) we expect even stronger loss reduction results.
The first five remedial/refresher videos were produced in both English and Spanish (for use with non‐regulated fleets), and cover the following topics:
- Improper Lane Change
- Honoring the Right of Way
- Driving Too Fast for Conditions
- Running Red Lights / Stop Signs
These five topics cover roughly 80% of all Motorist Observation Reports (MORs) generated at SafetyFirst, and a similar emphasis on moving violations.
We are in the process of releasing additional topics based on MOR trends, client recommendations and the level of enthusiastic adoption of the videos within our client base.
As of September 1, 2013:
- Exceeding the Speed Limit (dealing with GPS alerts!)
- Aggressive Driving
- Distracted Driving (Cell Phone/Text)
- Drowsy Driving
- Faulty Equipment
- Drug/Alcohol Use
- Driving Too Slowly for Conditions (Impeding Traffic)
Whether a regulated fleet or not, our program offers a range of benefits worth considering — it’s very low cost, includes a monthly training package, urgent alerts about near miss events, coaching and re-training emphasis (instead of fault finding or blaming) and the ability to run your drivers through very brief, but highly motivational online training modules.
We’re already the industry leader in driver safety programs for: Arborists/GreenCare, Social Service Providers, Municipalities, Pest Control, HVAC, Electrical Contractors, Beverage Delivery, Telecommunications, Food Processing and Distribution, Specialty Contractors, Construction, Auto Parts Wholesale and Retail, Retail (Direct Delivery) and more!
Why not check us out?