Driver Incentives—A Different Approach

Safety and compliance programs should contain a driver incentive program. Although companies may have some variation of an incentive program, many are not as effective at improving safety outcomes as they could be. At Transport Safely, we have developed a driver incentive program that is focused on improving CSA SMS BASIC scores and accidents, both core elements that insurance companies monitor to determine if your operation has an effective safety program (effective safety programs = lower premiums). Our program includes a point system for violations and good practices and a Driver Safety Scoreboard poster to document the point system and encourage accountability among all company personnel.

Traditionally, most transportation companies that have a driver incentive program provide gift cards and safety bonuses. While this is the most common method to incentivize drivers, it generally is not as effective because only a small percentage of drivers are motivated for those incentives. Most companies we have spoken with about driver incentive programs state that about 10% of their drivers actually care about their incentive program. That means 90% of the drivers of those companies are not as focused on improving safety outcomes, which directly impacts the operation’s BASIC scores and ultimately, how insurance carriers perceive the risk of the operations.

Our program is designed to bring ALL drivers into the incentive program via a point system. Meaning, if drivers do something right, they earn positive points, and if drivers obtain violations, they receive negative points. The design of the program was simple – we wanted drivers to have the ability to earn their way back into being eligible for the safety incentive.

In a traditional driver incentive program, a driver receives a violation or has an accident and he/she is out of the running for the company safety bonus or incentive. Guess what happens…the driver loses motivation for improvement and quits caring about the safety bonus. This could easily lead to the company having a potential safety issue now.

While Transport Safely’s driver incentive program is much more involved than traditional incentive programs, we feel it gives transportation companies better safety outcomes in the long run. We have developed two separate versions of the Driver Safety Scoreboard poster, one for trucking operations and one for passenger operations. Each type of operation has different safety initiatives. Through Transport Safely’s online safety training program, safety directors and managers learn how to use our driver incentive program in an effective manner to reduce violations and improve safety outcomes.

Is your company’s driver incentive program stale and underutilized? Check out our robust training programs to learn how you can truly motivate your staff.