Each driver in a company's fleet, and his or her driving history, is entered into DriverCare's database along with the state where the driver is licensed. To comply with the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, all drivers must complete authorization forms so that DriverCare can download the drivers' records from their respective motor vehicle department.
A company's DriverCare policy dictates the rules its drivers must follow, such as how each violation or accident is viewed and the severity of the penalties assigned. It consists of the sources of driver behavior such as motor vehicle reports, the company's own history of driving events and the 1-800-Howsmydriving data, if available, along with the risk-scoring system and response triggers. Each violation, from DUIs to leaving your car unlocked so company property is stolen, is assigned a certain point value. Risk levels are also created, perhaps three or four, that keep track of a driver's behavior patterns.
For example, at Ecolab, a cleaning and sanitizing services company in St. Paul, Minn., "safe driver" is at a Level 0, and has had no preventable accidents or moving violations within the past 24 months. A driver assigned to a Level 1 has earned six points, and may have had what's described as a preventable collision (worth six points) or a moving violation (worth four to 12 points). If a driver hasn't had any more violations, the points eventually disappear. The policy also describes the "trigger" that will elevate a driver's risk level, and spells out what the response will be based upon the severity of the violation. For example, a DUI would probably elicit a more serious response than three fender-benders.
The software also reports accidents and violations in real-time. Whenever a driver gets into an accident or violates some aspect of the safety policy, that event is recorded into the DriverCare database. And, depending on the severity of the action, the driver's risk level may jump up a level due to additional points. As part of the monitoring feature, managers can call up weekly online safety reports that detail fleet information, including driver risk-level changes, critical events (accidents or serious violations) and the costs of recent preventable losses. A manager also can get additional details on a driver's habits and any prescribed remedial training.
DriverCare's preprogrammed e-mail component is what really separates this product from others in the business, CEI Group executives say. When a driving violation is reported, from the most minor to the most major, the system automatically generates an e-mail that is sent to the driver. This automatic communiqué might include notification of a risk level change, and also includes the determined remedial action assigned to the type of violation, such as an online training program. The e-mail sets the date for completing the task, and sends periodic reminders.
November 1, 2005
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