How to Implement a Driver Safety Incentive Program
Driver safety is a primary responsibility for fleet enterprises, and various dynamic initiatives may be required to reduce the risk of accidents. Advanced driver training programs, AI-powered driver behavior software, and driver safety incentive programs are just a few examples of initiatives that can encourage drivers to take action to change risky habits before they cause accidents.
Every effort taken to improve driver safety is worthwhile. For fleet enterprises, accidents involving company vehicles are a significant source of expensive injury claims. According to the National Safety Council, the average loss caused by a car accident costs almost $70,000, almost twice as much as the average workplace injury.
This blog will overview driver safety incentive programs and some of their key benefits. Learn how Tourmo AI's driver coaching and rewards features of the Driver Behavior solution can help businesses evaluate driver performance and safety and identify unsafe driving behaviors. Then see some suggestions for developing an effective driver safety incentive program.
What Is a Driver Safety Program?
A “driver safety program” establishes company policies and guidelines to help fleet drivers stay safe. It aims to address risky driving behaviors and patterns to then provide further training. These programs should not only aim to train, but reward drivers for maintaining safe driving records, using safe driving habits, and maintaining safe performance levels over time.
A strong program is an uneven mix of coaching (~5-10% of drivers each week) and extrinsic and intrinsic recognition.
A “driver safety incentive program” is more focused on encouraging and rewarding those employees who demonstrate safe driving habits. This program will offer various incentives for achieving various goals, sustaining safe levels, friendly competition amongst drivers or teams, and generally reinforcing safe driving habits and patterns.
Whether you're launching a driving safety program, an incentive program, or both, these initiatives should be widely distributed, simple to understand, comprehensive, and contribute to your company's overall commitment to safety. Visuals and trends are key to pinpoint and detail issues as well as observe performance over time. In addition, all employees should be encouraged to prioritize safety to achieve the best results, and safety guidelines should be consistently reinforced.
What Are the Benefits of a Driver Safety Rewards Program?
Successful driver safety rewards programs recognize fleet drivers for complying with company-specific safety guidelines, improving their driving patterns, and ensuring safety for the communities in which they drive. Driver safety rewards programs frequently result in higher compliance levels and reduced accident rates.
While driver safety programs may not appear to be an especially helpful or positive initiative, they have been shown to significantly contribute to creating a safer, healthier, and more positive work environment. They also help improve driver morale when rewarding participation and acknowledging achievements. A strong and consistent driver rewards program will help driver retention by positively recognizing high performers.
Further, a successful driver safety program can improve a company's reputation. Companies that create positive and safe work environments can expect to establish a good public reputation, which can lead to new and repeat business and higher levels of employee satisfaction.
How to Create a Driver Safety Incentive Program
Driver safety incentive programs encourage drivers to take steps to improve their driving behavior and adhere to safety guidelines. If you're just getting started, it's essential to take a positive approach when creating a program that encourages drivers to do their best while rewarding participation, rather than creating a negative feedback loop that can lead to lower company morale.
When properly implemented, these programs are an effective way to encourage drivers to participate in positive efforts that contribute to the company's overall safety and compliance levels. We've listed a few recommendations to help you get started below.
Establish Clear Driver Expectations
A company should identify its drivers' most important safety guidelines and clearly communicate them from the start. Drivers must understand your company's safety policies and guidelines, how they will be evaluated, trained, and how they can participate in the safety program. Creating awareness of your safety program among drivers and visibility of the program within your company is a foundational component of the most successful initiatives. Also, consider introducing gamification options to encourage participation and assist drivers in understanding how they compare to other drivers.
Communicate Driver Safety Incentives
A driver safety program should offer both extrinsic and intrinsic incentives. For extrinsic financial incentives which may include things like gift cards, company apparel, or tickets to a local event.
For intrinsic incentives certificates, plaques, or trophies are common. Also consider call-outs on the dispatch radio or personal notes of appreciation to drivers you want to recognize for their improvement or consistently safe driving.
It is up to a company, and its culture, to determine which incentives will be most effective in establishing and promoting a successful program.
A driver safety program that is done properly will have information available on a particular cadence. That cadence could be weekly, daily, or after routes, but whatever is established should be consistent so drivers can rely on not only the timing, but inherently the consistency breeds credibility in the program itself.
Additionally, the program should include a mix of individual driver competitions, teams or groups working together, or specific campaigns around areas of improvement that are needed for the entire fleet. All of those are rich with gamification opportunities to reinforce the behaviors and patterns being instructed.
Monitoring Driver Behavior
Businesses must have a high level of visibility and awareness of their vehicle assets and a reliable method of monitoring driver behavior and performance levels. Telematics systems are commonly used by many fleet enterprises to monitor driving behavior and support a company's safety programs. This technology can help identify risky driving behaviors, such as speeding, hard cornering, and hard braking events.
The most recent and advanced AI technology used in Tourmo's Driving Behavior solution enables businesses to address fleet safety driver behavior issues before they become costly later on. Its patented AI technology dramatically improves data accuracy and assists fleet managers in understanding the context of events to determine if a driver's behavior is out of the ordinary and riskier than other drivers in similar vehicles, areas, and conditions.
Continuous Training and Coaching
A company should make efforts to provide ongoing training and coaching opportunities, in addition to clearly establishing company safety guidelines and monitoring driving behavior. Training is a tried and true method for reducing safety incidents, disseminating effective strategies and techniques, and rewarding driver participation.
Tourmo's AI-powered platform combines advanced big data analytics and automated workflows to provide fleet drivers with immediate access to contextualized safe driving analysis. Its gamification system encourages participation while enabling drivers to quickly identify and address risky behaviors, resulting in fewer accidents, lower costs, and increased driver engagement.
The benefits of using Tourmo’s Driving Behavior product include:
- Up to 25% fewer accidents
- Up to 10% reduction in insurance premiums
- Up to 20% reduction in fuel and maintenance costs
- Up to 50% increase in driver engagement and satisfaction
- Reduction in driver churn
Recommended Incentives for Fleet Drivers
Companies that want to ensure the success of their program and gain driver buy-in are concerned about using the right incentives. While you may be looking for specific incentive recommendations, safety rewards will differ depending on location and company culture. To make your incentives meaningful and attainable, you must first understand your fleet in the context of your unique workplace environment.
Monetary incentives are the most popular type of truck driver incentives. Whether you offer monthly, bi-annual, or annual bonuses, the most important thing is that you choose the right incentives and allow your employees to track and compare their performance levels to other drivers. This fosters a culture of friendly competition for safety accomplishments such as clean driving records and lower levels of safety incidents.
Tourmo’s AI-Powered Fleet Driver Behavior Solutions
The Tourmo AI-powered platform will enable you to implement a consistent driving improvement program across all drivers to gain driver confidence and start immediately reducing the risks of accidents.
Tourmo gives supervisors complete visibility while our technology provides automated driver feedback. Drivers are encouraged to participate in gamification and improve their driving skills without needing intervention. When Tourmo AI detects a pattern of unsafe driving behavior, it will request coaching from a supervisor.
Tourmo's AI-powered driver behavior workflows make the process easy for drivers to identify and address risky driving behavior through:
- Automated driver feedback, coaching, and recognition
- Individualized driver risk assessment
- Driver scorecards and gamification to encourage participation
- In-Cab driver audio notifications
Tourmo AI — Advanced Driver Safety Incentive Programs
Tourmo is dedicated to rewarding safe driving behavior and encouraging drivers to participate in self-corrective measures that enable them to improve their driving performance immediately. Even the worst driving behaviors can be improved with consistent training and coaching. In addition, implementing a successful driver safety program will help to establish a positive company culture, reduce driver turnover, and improve driver safety and compliance levels.
Tourmo’s AI-powered platform allows drivers to quickly identify and address risky driving behaviors, leading to fewer accidents, lower levels of risk and liability, reduced costs, and improved levels of driver engagement.
Get in touch today to learn more about how partnering with Tourmo can help you implement an advanced driver safety incentive program!
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Matt Braun leads the Solutions Consulting team at Tourmo. He helps Tourmo customers better understand their challenges and uncover creative, efficient solutions to improve their operations. He guides them through the benefits provided by mobility workflow automation, AI-powered tools and reports, and the value of data science. Matt’s focus on clear, actionable, and effective information is foundational to all prescribed solutions. Matt came to Tourmo after 15 years as Sr. Director of Performance Improvement at First Student –– an organization operating a fleet of more than 40,000 vehicles. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administrations from the University of Cincinnati and a Masters of Business Administration from Thomas More College. Matt and his wife live in the Cincinnati area where Matt coaches most of the sports of their 2 sons and daughter.