Serves the Commercial Small Fleet Market of 10 – 50 Vehicles

Assessing the Driving Record: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

November 2004, by - Also by this author

I don’t have any kind of standard when I look at the motor vehicle record,” says one small-fleet manager at an insurance agency. “What I should be looking for, how many traffic tickets or accidents, I have no concept. That’s the problem—I’m just using common sense but I don’t really know. Sound familiar?Establish a SystemThe first step to understanding your fleet risk requires establishing criteria to determine what constitutes an acceptable driving record.Zurich Risk Engineering, part of the Zurich Financial Services Group, created the point system in the accompanying chart to help companies evaluate prospective drivers and existing employees. Jim York, manager of Zurich’s transportation team in the risk engineering business unit, suggests evaluating a rolling 36-month period for most violations, and a rolling five-year period for “disqualifying events” (25-point violations).
MVR Evaluation Points System
Violation or conviction Points/Violation
Vehicular homicide
25
DWI, DUI or refused test
25
Leaving scene of an accident
25
Reckless driving
25
Currently suspended license
25
Major preventable accident
13
Passing stopped school bus
13
Speeding >15 mph above speed limit
10
Speeding 10-14 above speed limit
8
Failure to obey traffic device
8
Failure to yield right-of-way
8
Driving wrong side of road
8
Illegal passing
8
Following too closely
8
Other preventable accident
8
All other moving violations
5
Speeding less than 10 mph above limit
5
Non-preventable accident
3
Non moving violations 3
Courtesy Zurich Services CorporationAssessing MVRs: the good, the bad, the uglyAssessing driving records involves understanding the severity of infractions and accidents, and knowing which and how many of each put a driver over the line. Analyzing MVRs can be tricky, especially ones from out of state. Most states’ Departments of Motor Vehicles have their own point system for violations. Though types of violations are generally viewed with equal severity across states, the definitions of violations, and number of points assigned to each, vary widely. “In one state reckless driving is one to 10 miles over the speed limit, as a way not to have to put you down for speeding,” says Ray Gooley, vice president, limousine program manager of Managing Agency Group. “In other states it could mean you tried to avoid the law.” {+PAGEBREAK+}What, then, constitutes a good or bad driver? Generally, insurance companies consider a driver who has one or fewer accidents or violations over three years to be a safe driver.Thomas Walsh is a former worldwide corporate safety director for United Parcel Service, as well as the past chair of the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS). He now runs a workplace safety consultancy. Walsh says that under UPS guidelines a driver who has had two or more preventable accidents or two or more moving violations in the past five years is classified as high risk.Certain infractions should raise red flags immediately, says Gooley. His “absolute no-no’s” include: racing, evading a police officer, evading responsibility after an accident, passing a school bus, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and driving 20 miles over the speed limit. Driving with a suspended license is a major infraction under most systems. This may be an innocent oversight if a driver has moved recently, because the post office does not forward license renewals. “You may not find out until a cop pulls you over,” Gooley says.Accidents are viewed as preventable and non-preventable. York says these three accident types represent a majority of Zurich’s claim costs: an intersection crash, a lane-change merge crash, and a rear-end collision. They’re attributable to driver error and therefore carry a high point total (13 points) on the Zurich chart. It is important to become familiar with the terminology on MVRs. Work with your insurance agent to understand your carrier’s parameters for acceptable driving records, and then set up your driver assessment system accordingly.Assign levels of riskThe next step is to assign fleet drivers to a risk level based on their violations and accidents: Level One: Under 15 pointsLevel Two: 15 – 20 points Level Three: 21 – 24 pointsLevel Four: 25 points and aboveAppropriate training, education, discipline and rewards can then be applied to levels of risk.
Twitter Facebook Google+

Comments

Please note that comments may be moderated. 
Leave this field empty:
 
 

Fleet Incentives

Determine the actual cost of owning and running a vehicle in your fleet. Compare vehicles by class and model.

FleetFAQ

Fleet Tracking And Telematics

Todd Ewing from Fleetmatics will answer your questions and challenges

View All

 

Fleet Management And Leasing

Merchants Experts will answer your questions and challenges

View All

 

Sponsored by

The National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA) is an association formed to provide technical information and a range of member services for companies and organizations involved in the work truck marketplace.

Read more

Blog

Market Trends

Mike Antich
Fleet Will Need to Reinvent Itself as a New Vision of Fleet Management Emerges

By Mike Antich
Over the past several decades, the purchasing managers of yesteryear reinvented themselves into procurement professionals whose function is now viewed as a strategic asset that provides a competitive advantage to a corporation. Can fleet management, likewise, elevate its perceived value to a corporation, especially in the eyes of its senior management? I say yes, and the timing is right to do so.

Deciphering the DNA of Award-Winning Fleet Professionals

By Mike Antich

View All

Driving Notes

Chris Brown
2018 Mercedes Benz GLS450 4MATIC

By Chris Brown
The Mercedes-Benz GLS450 is the S class of SUVs. That’s expressed through Mercedes’ new nomenclature, which as of the 2017 model year carries the same levels across SUVs, sedans, coupes, and roadsters.

2017 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Chief

By Stephane Babcock

View All

Nobody Asked Me, But...

Sherb Brown
Fair and Balanced

By Sherb Brown
The mainstream media may have sold out lock stock and barrel to the fringe elements but as a fleet decision maker you still have some tremendous resources that you can rely on.

New Faces in Safe Places

By Sherb Brown

View All

Auto Focus

Chris Brown
Understanding The Fleetification of Everything

By Chris Brown
As fleet miles increase exponentially, and as new stratum of fleet enter both consumer and business use cases, the "founding fathers" who gathered at Fleet Forward in Miami last week have some work to do.

The Problem with Valuing Safety Technology

By Chris Brown

View All

STORE

Up Next

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher