How can the Safety of Commercial Drivers be Predicted

March 5, 2020 Lasse Hønsen

First published in Employer News

With up to 80% of traffic accidents caused by only 20% of drivers (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, 2010) any business which hires drivers be they for transportation of goods or passengers must have safety as a central concern.

Accidents by drivers, however small, have significant costs to the business. Therefore, having the ability to identify those in the hiring process who are most likely to behave safely would have a clear benefit.

Aon’s drivers suite of assessments is a proven tool that offers organizations this ability to assess for safe behavior.

Here is one example of a transport company we worked with to help demonstrate it. Aon worked with the client to conduct a validation study to understand the impact and predict the utility of the assessment. 

The aim of this validation study was to determine whether specific talent assessment results could predict accident rates at the transport company and to then use that information to identify candidates who would be more likely to have fewer accidents. If those most likely to have fewer accidents were hired, a return on investment in the pre-hire assessment could be calculated. As a consequence, these individuals could also reduce their insurance premiums, as fewer incidents and better claims statistics make for a more attractive insurance scenario when going to market with motor fleet insurance.

The Study

In a company with around 270 drivers, the number of driver accidents had become an issue. All the drivers had been recruited using quite typical hiring activities such as application forms and an interview – but no talent assessment.

The drivers suite of assessments, which combines specific ability tests and a personality questionnaire, was administered to 144 drivers in the organization.

The scores were then analyzed alongside each individual’s accident record.

A ‘safety score’ was created from the assessments, which was a combination of scores on particular personality dimensions (e.g. striving for harmony, sociable skills, flexibility and perseverance) and, two ability tests scores measuring sense of direction and multi-tasking.

The Results

The standardized scores were converted into three bands; low, average, high. When these scores were correlated with the accident reports, the data showed that:

  • 71% of those with a low safety score had been involved in an accident.
  • 38% of those with an average safety score had been involved in an accident.
  • Only 15% of those with a high safety score had been involved in an accident.

The assessments were a good indicator of accident probability.

The safety score also predicts the frequency of driver-related accidents that a driver in this organization is likely to be involved in.

It was shown that:

  • Those with a low safety score are likely to be involved in an accident every 9 months.
  • Those with an average safety score are likely to be involved in an accident every 13 months.
  • Those with a high safety score are likely to be involved in an accident every 55 months.

What This Means in Practice

There is a clear return on investment in the assessment process.  When compared to low safety score drivers, high safety score drivers have:

  • 78% lower accident probability.
  • 68% fewer driving accidents per hour.
  • 3 times lower costs per hour worked.
  • 43% fewer non-driving related accidents per hour.

By using talent assessment during the hiring process to identify those most likely to have fewer accidents, safety will increase and costs can saved.

What could the drivers suite of assessments do for your business?

Learn more about the drivers suite of assessments here

About the Author

Lasse Hønsen

Lasse is the Managing Director for Aon's Assessment Solutions Norway. He's an organizational psychologist and system developer by background. In his years in the industry he has designed and implemented solutions for several multinational and national clients. Lasse's competency areas span from selection methods and analytics to business development, and since he's looked upon as an assessment thought leader in the local market, he has figured on national radio, TV and in several newspapers.

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