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High driver turnover leads to higher CSA scores, out-of-service, and crashes

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High driver turnover leads to higher CSA scores, out-of-service, and crashes

Vigillo, a data firm that monitors Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) violations and crashes for approximately 2,000 trucking fleet customers throughout the United States, recently completed an analysis of clients’ rates of driver attrition, or turnover.

The analysis was meant to ask these two questions:

  1. Does high driver attrition impact CSA scores?
  2. When you’re battling the turnover problem – does it matter where the rubber hits the road in true safety?

“There appears to be a pretty strong correlation between the safety culture that exists at a motor carrier, which can be measured in CSA, and turnover rates,” Vigillo CEO Steve Bryan said in a presentation at the Recruitment and Retention conference back in February.

According to Vigillo’s data, carriers with high turnover had:

  • 189% more driver out-of-service rate
  • 300% more vehicle out-of-service volume for those high-turnover carriers
  • 181% more hours-of-service violations than carriers with low attrition
  • 224% more crash indicators
  • 640% more hazmat violations
  • 182% more controlled substance violations
  • 211% more concerning both unsafe driving and vehicle maintenance
  • 213% more in driver fitness

In regards to reportable crashes, the high-turnover group showed 1,177 total crashes. The low turnover group showed just 303, a huge difference.


This high turnover data is impressive – now what?

The study findings mean that the best way to counteract rising BASIC scores may not just be compliance initiatives, but also dealing with the root cause of high turnover. This might mean:

Going beyond the minimum requirements for the FMCSA compliant Driver Qualification file to improve your hiring, onboarding and on going communication with drivers, all of which has proven to reduce turnover.  This could mean:

  • Going beyond the FMCSA minimums for obtaining past employer information about a job seeker. Include a PSP report and background check.
  • Spending more time analyzing the information and talking with the candidate to make sure you get someone who fits in with your company culture.
  • Improving the onboarding process of new hires to make sure they are seemlessly absorbed into the company culture. This usually is in the form of training, coaching, reviewing policies, and frequent wellness checks within the first 6 months of hire.
  • Ongoing communication and training so the driver feels like the company is investing in them, that they are a valuable part of the company and whose opinion matters.

8 guidelines for improving csa scores truckingAdditionally, implementing a comprehensive Performance Management program that includes training, incentives, and more has proven to reduce turnover.  Today’s technology can easily provide individual driver performance data from many sources that can then be used as as performance measures.  As each driver produces measured data, that data can be used as recognition, friendly competition, and even for pay incentives.

In today’s highly regulated world, carriers must not only operate safely, they must manage their CSA scores as well.  Reducing turnover can be one of your most productive tactics to improve both.


05 May, 17

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