All That's Trucking

Digging into the MVR

The most significant moving violations might surprise you.

July 8, 2013

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A driver's use of turn signals is a surprising clue to whether he'll have a crash.
A driver's use of turn signals is a surprising clue to whether he'll have a crash.

A driver's motor vehicle record is a valuable tool to screen new hires and to target current drivers for additional safety training.

As part of a session on MVR checks at Bobit Business Media's recent Fleet Safety Conference in Schaumburg, Ill., Art Liggio, president of Driving Dynamics, offered a tale of two fleets.

Both companies were in similar industries, with fleets of about 5,000 services vans where drivers were making multiple stops.

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Each had the same hiring standards for new hires: No more than 3 violations in the past 24 months, and no more than one preventable accident in the past 24 months.

One of the fleets tightened its standards to no more than 2 violations in the past 24 months. Their historical crash rate was 22 to 24% each year. By changing that one criteria, their crash rate after three years dropped to 17%. The fleet saved more than $2 million a year.

Liggio said while this is impressive, fleets may have even better results by targeting specific violations.

A 2011 study by the American Transportation Research Institute evaluated 540,000 drivers and found the occurrence of one of the following moving violations dramatically increased the likelihood of becoming involved in a crash by the following amount:

• Failure to use or improper turn signal: 96%

• Improper passing: 88%

• Improper turn: 84%

• Improper or erratic lane change: 80%

In comparison, speeding more than 15 mph over the speed limit -- which you might think would be a sure-fire indicator of a dangerous driver -- increased the overall crash risk by only 67%.

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Author Bio

Deborah Lockridge

Editor in Chief

All That's Trucking blog is just that – the editor's take on anything and everything related to trucking, with the help of guest posts from other HDT editors. Author Deborah Lockridge's career as an award-winning trucking journalist started in 1990.

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