Protective Insurance is now Progressive Fleet & Specialty Programs. For more details, visit the blog.

Semi truck turning corner and coming directly at passenger car

Reactionary training and discipline is too little too late. Companies without a proactive training and coaching program risk being held liable for large punitive damage claims.

This article is from the Spring 2015 issue of The Quill. To view the full issue, visit The Quill archive.

To help our policyholders reduce accidents and better understand the impact of CSA, Protective has partnered with Impact Training Solutions to provide ongoing driver education. We asked Kelly Anderson, president of Impact Training Solutions, to provide us with details on how your fleet can benefit from this service.

When I was 8-years-old, James Fisher and I were taken to the principal’s office for not doing our homework. The principal asked me why I didn’t do my math homework and I told him it was because I didn’t know how and I didn’t understand it. I continued to plead my case by advising him I had done all my other homework and if he would show me how to do the math, I would do it as well. James had a much simpler problem, his dog ate it. The principal did not accept James’ excuse, nor did he accept my logical reasoning. I looked at that principal and said, “Sir you can discipline me all you want, but I still won’t know the math.”

As you read the story above, I think everyone would agree that discipline in and of itself has no intellectual value. Yet I see many fleets doing just that through warning letters, loss of bonuses, time off without pay and ultimately involuntary loss of employment. There’s another group that only assigns training once a violation or collision has occurred, with little to no effort placed on giving drivers the knowledge to prevent these issues in the first place. This reactionary training and discipline is too little too late. Your company is already bearing the cost of the accident, cargo claim, and elevated CSA scores. The most successful programs include a combination of awards and penalties, supported by consistent, frequent and specific dialogue with the driver. This method involves “coaching” drivers and changing at-risk behaviors BEFORE an accident or citation occurs.

Companies without a proactive training and coaching program risk being held liable for large punitive damage claims due to inadequate training and poor CSA scores brought by plaintiff attorneys. From a driver perspective, most do not realize how training records and CSA scores impact their careers.

According to a recent report from the American Transportation Research Institute:

  • Over 96% of drivers could not correctly identify the five publicly accessible BASICs and did not know that only the FMCSA can access official driver CSA scores.
  • Over 56% of drivers did not know that CSA scores are weighted by both time and severity and that high CSA scores help prioritize carriers for intervention by DOT.

Fleets that don’t adequately train their drivers have increased operational costs due to increased accidents, cargo claims, fuel consumption, maintenance, and DOT violations. Furthermore, your customers and vendors are using your performance data to pre-qualify bid/contract terms. Simply put, if you can’t control your performance, you will lose customers. There is no substitute for initial, ongoing and corrective action instruction geared toward safe behavior modification. And today it is easier and cheaper than ever to provide. Training does not cost – it pays!

  • Categorized in:
  • Transportation Safety
  • Driver Management