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.
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%.