Driver Assessment and Qualification
In last month’s article on Motor Vehicle Record Checks, we began discussing a process to assess and qualify drivers. These are critical steps in the driver selection and review process. It is your chance to review a potential driver/employee’s MVR to determine if they are eligible to drive for your organization or if an existing driver is starting to exhibit higher risk characteristics. This can reduce not just accidents and the direct costs associated with them, but also potential liability. A good driver assessment and qualification program can identify problem drivers before they have a chance to get behind the wheel for your organization or if they are already driving your vehicle. A common system we recommend is to categorize all drivers into one of three risk levels based on the entries on their MVR. Following is an example of the risk stratification system we have implemented with clients.
Risk Level 1
- No major violations in the previous 36 months;
- No at-fault accidents in the previous 36 months;
- No more than two minor violations in the previous 36 months, with no more than one violation in the previous 12 months.
Risk Level 2 (any of the following)
- One major violation in the previous 36 months;
- One at-fault accident in the previous 36 months;
- More than three minor violations in the previous 36 months, with no more than two violations in the previous 12 months.
Risk Level 3 (any of the thresholds listed below)
- Two major violations in the previous 36 months;
- Two at-fault accidents in the previous 36 months;
- Four or more minor violations in the previous 36 months, or more than three in the previous 12 months.
As you can see, the higher the risk level the more serious the nature of the incidents. This is only a starting point and every organization’s program could be slightly different. The goal of the process is to stratify your drivers into categories to identify low, medium, and high risk drivers so you can take the necessary action to mitigate high risk drivers.
Keep in mind if you are reviewing potential drivers, you may set a standard to not hire anyone above a Risk Level 2. We recommend reviewing the prior 36 months for common violations as you want an ample amount of time that gives you a clear indication of their driving record but is not unnecessarily punitive to drivers. However, for more serious violations, such as DUI, reckless driving, driving on suspended license, etc., we recommend that you review the employee’s record for the previous five years.
The following are examples of classifications for major and minor violations. As an alternative, you can use a point system for incidents and risk profiling.
Racing or drag racing
Excessive speed greater than 15 miles over the posted limits
Speeding less than 15 miles above the posted speed
Violation of traffic control device
Failure to yield
Well, we’ve covered quite a bit this month and I hope you’ve learned a few things. Next month, we will discuss progressive disciplinary policies and suggested actions to take following a driver having an accident or moving violation.