As we know, there are many factors that play into the daily life of the shipping world. Logistics management, effectively cutting costs, and customer satisfaction are commonly heard throughout shipping conversations. Yet, driver safety is not brought up as often as it should be.
Statistically, a motor vehicle accident occurs every 5 seconds, and a majority of these accidents happened during the workday. Causing employers to compensate for the cost of injuries, and causing businesses to incur a loss in employee availability. Motor vehicle accidents cost employers an estimated $60 billion annually in medical expenses, legal fees, property damages, and productivity downtime. However, focusing on implementing an effective driver safety program within the workplace can greatly reduce the probability of an accident occurring. According to OSHA, the four main accident-causing behaviors are:
Aggressive Driving – Drivers often find themselves caught up in highly congested traffic situations. This is due to the highway systems not meeting the demands of the growing number of drivers. These situations often spark aggression and frustration within drivers, as they are wasting time and productivity. It is important for drivers to remain focused, even in the most frustrating situations.
Distracted Driving – Distracted driving accounts for nearly 4,000 accidents daily. This growing number can be due to the rise in popularity of in-vehicle technologies. These distractions cause drivers to lose focus of the road. It is vital to keep distractions at a bare-minimum while driving.
Drowsy Driving – Driving can be a draining task. Long commutes, boredom, and the seemingly hypnotic aesthetic of the highway can cause a great deal of fatigue on a driver. It is important to understand that pulling over to take a break from being behind the wheel is much more acceptable than causing an accident.
Impaired Driving – Drivers operating motor vehicles while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is more common than expected. In fact, alcohol is a contributing factor in 39% of work-related accidents, according to OSHA. It is important to remain safe and take the responsible step by refusing to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Understanding driving risks for a business is not enough. An employer and their employees need to work together to understand and improve their CSA scores in order to fully optimize their driver safety within the workplace.
Managing CSA Data
The Department of Transportation provides Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) scores to drivers, touching on topics such as: speeding, failure to yield, parking violations, and even the carrying of unauthorized passengers within the vehicle. These scores can be utilized in such a way that drivers and employers can understand areas of improvement within the workplace. In fact, there is a free guide on CSA data management that you can find here. Using these guidelines, employees and employers can implement into their fleet management practices. This guide includes the following steps:
Go to the CSA website and print off your CSA scores: http://csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/
- Individual citations can be obtained by clicking on the Violation Summary tab
- Open up an Excel spreadsheet and create or name cells based on your score defects
- Then enter the general defect (such as “Failure to Yield” or “Unlawfully Parking” into the appropriate cells
- Click on what type of graph you would like to see (Pareto chart/bar graph) recommended
- There are a few other functions you can add by right clicking your mouse, including Count of Defect
- Cut and copy the graph onto a Word or PowerPoint document
- Post this document in the drivers lounge or attach with paychecks
- You will need to review actual reports for driver counseling opportunities
- Update this report monthly, showing improvements
You could even consider adding a rewards program for achieving certain milestones
Simply implementing a plan of action on improving CSA scores across the board can greatly increase driver safety and create an all-around sense of well-being among the team. After all, driver safety is a must.