Financial Incentives And Truck Driver Choices

How likely truck accidents, such as fatal semi crashes, are to occur is heavily influenced by how good of choices truck drivers make. Many things can impact what sorts of decisions truck drivers make. One is what kinds of financial incentives are associated with different types of driving behavior.

One party that plays a very big role in what financial incentives are at play for a truck driver is the company the truck driver works for. One would hope truck companies would be mindful of how the policies and practices they have could impact what sorts of financial incentives are present for their drivers and how these, in turn, could impact how safely their drivers act. One also hopes such companies would make sure to take this into account when deciding what policies and practices to have in place.

Some truck company policies could provide financial incentives for drivers to act in a safe manner.

Recently, a large U.S. truck company announced a policy that incentivizes safe driving. The company in question is U.S. Xpress. Under the new policy, which will go into effect on March 1 of this year, the company will give a base mileage pay raise to its over-the-road solo drivers who have not had any CSA violations, traffic tickets or accidents over the past 12 months.

How effective do you think policies like this are at pushing truck drivers towards safer conduct? Would you like to see these sorts of policies be more common?

Unfortunately, truck company policies and practices could also swing the other way. Sometimes, a truck driver might feel like the company they work for is encouraging them to act in an unsafe way, such as drive for an unsafe amount of time or carry more weight than is safe. In the face of such perceived pressure, a truck driver may feel like their economic well-being will be hurt if they don't yield to the pressure. It is vital for truck companies to avoid engaging in conduct that could end up creating perceived financial disincentives for safe driving for truck drivers.

Source: Overdrive, "Large carrier announces pay increase for safe drivers," Jan. 20, 2016

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