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How Driver Turnover Impacts Your CSA Score
4 mins read

OCTOBER 30, 2018 – As we recently reported, driver turnover at large carriers jumped to 98 percent – the highest it’s been in over three years.

It’s a big problem for carriers, many of whom are stuck in a constant loop of hiring and training drivers – a process that is not only time consuming, but very expensive.  It turns out, however, that these aren’t the only issues that turnover creates: it can also negatively impact a carrier’s CSA score.

How could that be?

Because research shows that the more frequently a driver switches job, the more likely they are to be involved in a crash.

What the Data Shows

An FMCSA analysis of information in the Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS) showed a “significant relationship” between driver crash rates and turnover, with the crash rate increasing to correspond with the number of job changes a driver goes through each year:

“If a driver has averaged three or more jobs with different carriers each year, during an employment history that is two years or longer, the calculated odds of being involved in an at-fault crash reach a  level that is more than twice as high as they are for drivers with lower job change rates.” (Commercial Motor Vehicle Driver Retention and Safety)

The reason is pretty simple: it takes time to acclimate to a new job. Unfamiliar routes, varying cargo types and even a different truck all take time to get used to – especially if the driver is traveling in areas that are significantly different from where they drove previously (moving from a rural, open road to a congested city, for example). Over time, these changes become part of the normal routine, and as a result, drivers are much less likely to make an error that could compromise either their safety or the integrity of the cargo.  There’s data to back this up as well, with the study showing that drivers who stay at one company for awhile (at least two years) as being far less likely to be involved in a crash.

What You Can Do

With turnover approaching 100 percent, it’s important for carriers to think through their hiring and retention processes to ensure they’ve created an environment that will both attract and keep top drivers. Prioritizing work-life balance, providing a competitive benefits package and building a positive workplace culture are a few important steps you can take to lower turnover in your company. Equally important, is establishing a positive hiring and onboarding process. From mobile-friendly applications to a fully digital background screening process, the easier you make this initial experience, the more likely drivers will be to stay. There’s data to back this up: a recent study found that drivers were 22 percent less likely to stay with a company if they had a positive onboarding experience.

If you want to review your current recruiting and onboarding process and discuss ways you can make your processes more effective, please give us a call at (860) 815-0764. Or, click here to learn more about our automated recruiting and compliance solution.

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