By: Kevin Seth, AU, ARM, AAI, AIS, AINS

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that driver coaching works.  It helps control costs related to vehicle crashes and creates a worthwhile investment.  Driver coaching benefits both the company and the driver.

The company can benefit in a variety of ways.  The results of driver coaching techniques can reduce operating costs.   Improving driving habits can reduce vehicle wear and tear, reduce vehicle repairs and replacement, reduce fuel costs, as well as increase insurance savings and vehicle-up time.  Improved driver performance can have a positive impact on their compliance rating as well.

Employee retention is critical today.  Driver coaching done correctly creates constructive communication between company managers and drivers. The residual benefits are better working relationships and employees understanding that their company cares about their safety and well-being. Providing supportive feedback and/or rewards for when drivers are improving or doing well, creates a positive work environment which improves driver retention.

Well rounded training includes ergonomic recommendations on how to be more comfortable while driving, thereby reducing pain and/or fatigue. This reinforces the idea that their employer cares about their comfort, health and well-being. Happier drivers are also less apt to engage in road rage and typically demonstrate safer vehicle operation.

One of the primary goals of driver coaching is to change driver behaviors and lessen the number of accidents.  Reduction in accidents has many benefits which include less administrative costs associated with crash investigation, less insurance claim handling, less vehicle repairs’ handling, reassigning of personnel, rescheduling of jobs, vehicle down time and employee replacement and training.  There is no better fix for accidents than not having one in the first place.  If you do have an accident, you’ve got plenty of driver coaching data to help make your case.  Another reason to reduce accidents is the bad publicity and damage a company’s reputation which could result in a serious accident.  A poor compliance rating can also have a negative impact on the company image as well.

Drivers can benefit as well from effective driver coaching.  The first and most important benefit is to prevent serious injury or death.  Effective driver coaching will increase driver awareness and help reduce the chances of an accident.

The driver coaching process includes regular communication with drivers geared towards a strong focus on helping them.  This increased positive communication between the driver and the company has a significant chance of improving the driver’s relationship with their company thereby creating a more positive work environment.

The improved skills and increased awareness each driver obtains from driver coaching can also be applied in their personal lives helping to protect themselves as well as their own family.