With the number of crashes climbing fast over the past few years, safety professionals have a lot at stake when it comes to ensuring the safety of their fleet.
Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg recently reported that “Almost 95% of our nation’s transportation deaths occur on America’s streets, roads and highways, and they are on the rise.”
This growing number of crashes has brought with it an increase in lawsuits and nuclear verdicts. It’s been estimated that one in two personal injury lawsuits involve an auto crash, and three in five of these lawsuits are won by the plaintiff. From 2010 to 2018, the average verdict size for trucking lawsuits above $1 million increased by nearly 1,000%, rising from $2.3 million to $22.3 million.
These rising numbers require serious action from companies to ensure that their drivers are practicing safe driving habits out on the road – it also means that simply monitoring driver violations is just not enough.
In order to confidently check all the boxes when it comes to mitigating driver risk, companies need to be leveraging both MVR monitoring and driver safety training.
What Is Continuous MVR Monitoring?
If you’re a safety manager still relying on annual MVR pulls, we’re extremely happy you’re here. Manually pulling MVRs on an infrequent basis is an incredibly risky game. Why? An MVR only offers a single snapshot in time. As soon as it’s pulled, you are once again in the dark until the next time an MVR is pulled. So, if you’re pulling your MVRs annually, you won’t have insight into their drivers for another 364 days (we call this the “visibility gap”). As you’ve probably experienced before, a lot can happen within that time. The riskiest drivers remain undiscovered, exposing your company to immense potential liability.
Enter continuous MVR monitoring. MVR monitoring eliminates the dangerous waiting game that results from annual MVR pulls. It continuously sends out automated updates to safety professionals to alert them when their drivers receive violations, suspensions and other activity on or off the clock.
Continuous MVR monitoring provides alerts for violations major and minor. And while some may seem unnecessary to act on quickly, future repercussions can be much more costly than one may think.
Why Is MVR Monitoring More Impactful with Driver Training?
If you’ve taken the proper first step in mitigating driver risk by implementing MVR monitoring, you’re already leagues ahead of other companies in the industry that are still manually pulling MVRs. But while having 24/7 visibility is important, it’s unfortunately not enough to fix the problem at hand. The shortest distance between knowing about driver risk and fixing it is by assigning targeted, remedial training.
Over 90% of crashes involve human error. So every mile an at-risk employee is driving without intervention puts companies at greater risk. To put this in perspective, take a look at our Leading Indicators Chart below. Our crash prediction study correlated MVR events with crashes, calculating the increased probability of a claim occurring within the 12 months following a specific violation.
Take a look at the first violation listed on the chart – receiving a violation for failing to signal a lane change increases the probability of a crash within the next year by almost 113%.
What does this mean? While being alerted of the violation a driver received for failing to signal is important, safety managers need to act FAST to reduce the likelihood of a future crash. Their next step needs to be strategic and effective.
How? They can do this by establishing a targeted intervention strategy, where companies assign drivers to relevant training courses following a violation. Targeted driver training is the best way to intervene with at-risk drivers and remediate poor driving habits before they are involved in a crash.
Take Driver Risk Mitigation to the Next Level
While some companies focus solely on remedial training (which is a great step in the right direction), those who incorporate frequent, ongoing training and assign courses monthly have far fewer violations – 25% less than the industry average and 50% less than fleets who train twice a year.
So, while remedial training is important to get drivers back on the road, adding frequent, monthly driver training as an additional safety policy requirement is a proven method to reduce violations and ultimately, crashes and claims across a company’s fleet.
So why isn’t every company implementing driver training into their driver safety program? Even if they are aware of the benefits, building and maintaining effective driver training content can be difficult and time-consuming. This is especially so when you’re assigning it on an ongoing basis.
Interested in taking the next step to improve your driver safety program? Our guide, Six Questions to Ask When Implementing Driver Training, provides thought-provoking questions to take into consideration when implementing a fleet training program within your company.
If you enjoyed this article, we recommend the following:
Online Driver Training: Explore Our Course Catalog
Driver Error: The Most Common Cause of Vehicle Crashes
You Aren’t Doing Enough If You’re Relying on Pre-Employment MVR Checks
How Monitoring Violations Can Reduce Distracted Driving in Your Fleet