One of the most common search terms used in the past six months by fleet safety managers is “Driver Incentive Program”. A recent article states;
“There is little question that keeping company vehicle drivers, their passengers, and the public safe is the single most important responsibility a fleet manager has. From vehicle selection to specification to policy, safety should be a primary force in decision-making.”
“One method used by many companies to help make safety efforts successful is implementing a safe driving incentive program. Using various measurements, drivers whose safety records are exemplary are rewarded.”
“But if the basis for the program is merely “no accidents = cash,” the overall goal of achieving a safety culture among drivers won’t be met. Here are some tips to remember when you want your safety program to have maximum effectiveness.”
Additionally, a case study of particular note, titled “PAY INCENTIVES AND TRUCK DRIVER SAFETY: A CASE STUDY” conducted by the team of DANIEL A. RODRÍGUEZ, FELIPE TARGA, and MICHAEL H. BELZER was brought to my attention by a colleague. The study summary states:
“This paper explores the safety consequences of increasing truck driver pay. The test case the authors examine involves a large over-the-road truckload firm that on February 25, 1997, raised wages an average of 39.1%. An analysis that controls for demographic and operational factors, including prior driving experience and experience acquired on the job, suggests that for drivers employed during the lower pay regime and retained in the higher pay regime, crash incidence fell. A higher pay rate also led to lower separation probability, but this indirect effect only translated into fewer crashes by increasing the retention of older, more experienced drivers. These findings suggest that human capital characteristics are important predictors of driver safety, but that motivational and incentive factors also are influential “
The study can be found by clicking HERE.
Finally, the FMCSA has previously published information designed to help pave the way for fleets who are struggling to reduce their UNSAFE DRIVER “BASIC” scores and want to examine incentives as part of that process.
http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/facts-research/research-technology/tech/driver-retention-safety.pdf represents one of these FREE resources that many fleet managers are unaware exist.
Many fleets have worked with incentive programs and they either LOVE them or HATE them — the keys to success focus on simple issues:
The drivers need to buy in to the program — if the incentives offered are unappealing, they won’t influence behavior
- Goals need to be reasonable and achievable. If the drivers feel that the goals are unrealistic, they may give up before really trying to attain them
- Communication between management and drivers is very important — if the drivers don’t understand parts of the program, how it gets administered, or what they need to do, they can become very frustrated. It’s also helpful to provide periodic feedback on progress to keep everyone encouraged and working towards a common goal.
- Keep it simple. There is always a temptation to make things complicated. Keeping the program as simple as possible makes it easier to communicate goals, methods and progress. If something isn’t working well, it’s also easier to change things than when the program is highly complex.
The team at SafetyFirst may be able to help you further! Give us a call to discuss our programs and resources. 1-888-603-6987